Lindsey Graham Tells Trump: Make Iran ‘Feel Pain,' 'Hit a Refinery'
The actions would be intended to send a message to Iran
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suggested on Friday’s broadcast of “The Hugh Hewitt Show,” that Presdient Donald Trump should consider the aggressive approach in responding to Iran’s saber-rattling in the Persian Gulf.
The South Carolina Republican U.S. Senator didn't hold back when he suggested sinking the Iranian Navy and attacking one of Iran’s refineries.
The actions would be intended to send a message to Iran not to interfere with the shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf.
The Partial transcript of Graham's interview as follows:
HEWITT: "Let’s turn to Iran. Earlier this morning, moments ago, the President of the United States said, “Iran did it;” the mine that didn’t explode “Had Iran written all over it.”
"He didn’t say what he is going to do, what do you think he ought to do about attacks on Gulf shipping Lindsey Graham?
GRAHAM: "Make sure that the Iranians will never do it again because it hurt too much. If he doesn’t send a clear, unequivocal signal with pain attached, they will keep doing it."
"They are testing him. The president got out of the agreement. He’s put sanctions on Iran."
He’s breaking the back of the Iranian government economically; they are pushing back, they are testing his will."
"One of the great minds of our time, General Keane, said there are a couple of options. One is, start sending naval escorts for commercial shipping in the Straights of Hormuz, that’s one thing to do —I don’t know how sustainable that is— the other thing is just basically sink their navy."
"Now, put them on notice, start escorting ships, and if there is another attack on commercial shipping in the Straights of Hormuz, just sink all these fast boats, just sink their navy."
HEWITT: "That’s what President Reagan did in 1988, with Operation Praying Mantis."
"I’d like to hear Lindsey Graham’s assessment of this: They have a couple of major refinery complexes, maybe only two.
"They are attacking oil. Ought we to attack their refinery complexes because if you want to talk about bringing that country to a halt, that’s the way to do it."
GRAHAM: "Well, this is why I like your show. You put options on the table that really hurt."
"The bottom line really here is that they are pushing back on multiple fronts now against President Trump —rocket man is still shooting rockets, Maduro is still in power, the Iranians are attacking ships in the Strait of Hormuz. I like the foreign policy of President Trump."
"He’s been the anti-Obama. But he’s got to get Iran put back in a box. This is a time of testing."
They have hit four ships. They have attacked land-based pipelines, they haven’t felt anything yet, so if I were the president, attacking a refinery or sinking their navy would be an unequivocal signal: “I don’t want a war with Iran, but I don’t want Iran disrupting international navigation and freedom of the seas, and continue to be, you know, wrecking havoc, so, he’s got some options in the table."
According to the AP: A video Friday released by the U.S military allegedly showed Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the oil tankers targeted near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, suggesting Tehran trying to hide evidence of its alleged involvement.
Iran denied any role in Thursday’s apparent attacks, which have again roiled the Persian Gulf amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington over the unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.
Four other oil tankers off the nearby Emirati port city of Fujairah suffered similar attacks in recent weeks, and Iranian-allied rebels from Yemen have struck U.S. ally Saudi Arabia with drones and missiles.
Last month, Trump said he did not intend for regime change in Iran amid the growing tensions between the countries.
"I’m not looking to hurt Iran at all. I’m looking to have Iran say, ‘no nuclear weapons,'" Trump said at the press conference in Japan.