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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

US senator calls for bombing Iran

Lindsey Graham wants the IRGC headquarters “blown off the map”

The US should bomb Iranian oil fields and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps HQ in retaliation for Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping, Senator Lindsey Graham said on Thursday.

In a Fox News interview, the South Carolina Republican argued that Tehran was behind both the attacks on US bases in Iraq and Syria and the harassment of Israeli-linked cargo ships in the Red Sea.

Read more: Iran’s supreme leader leads funeral prayers for senior Guards adviser

“I have been saying for six months now: Hit Iran,” Graham said. “They have oil fields out in the open, they have the Revolutionary Guard headquarters you can see from space. Blow it off the map.”

According to Graham, the Houthis in Yemen are “completely backed” by Tehran. “Without Iran, there are no Houthis,” he said.

The group that stylizes itself as the government of Yemen has openly sided with the Palestinians in the Israel-Gaza conflict and began targeting merchant ships owned by or headed for Israel in late October. Major shipping companies have rerouted their vessels around Africa in response, driving up prices.

Various groups calling themselves the “Islamic Resistance” have also launched drones and rockets at US troops in Iraq and Syria. Washington refuses to withdraw its forces from the region, even though they have long outlived Baghdad’s welcome and never had the blessing of Damascus.

Read more: Iran to collaborate for advance vaccine development in Pakistan

Although the US launched airstrikes against three targets in Iraq on Monday, Graham accused Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin of showing “weakness” and “failing our troops in the field” by not retaliating more forcefully.

“I asked him a couple of months ago: Is there a red line? Would you tell our enemies publicly that if you kill an American, we are coming after you?” the senator told Fox News. “If you really want to protect American soldiers, make it real to the ayatollah, you attack a soldier through a proxy, we’re coming after you.”

Graham has a long history of promoting the use of force abroad, often in tandem with former Arizona Senator John McCain, who infamously sang “Bomb Iran” during his 2007 presidential campaign. He carried the torch after McCain died in 2018. Graham is a retired colonel in the US Air Force but spent his entire military career in the Judge Advocate General Corps as a lawyer and then a judge.