Israel war: US should destroy Iran’s oil refineries if attacks persist, Lindsey Graham says

Israel war: US should destroy Iran’s oil refineries if attacks persist, Lindsey Graham says

October 09, 2023 03:50 PM

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suggested on Monday that the United States should “destroy Iran’s oil infrastructure” if Tehran-backed militias launch another assault against Israel following the unprecedented terrorist attack over the holiday weekend.

At least 900 Israeli civilians and nine Americans are dead as a result of the carnage, while more than 2,150 have been injured. Those numbers do not account for the more than 100 Israelis and Americans being held hostage by Hamas, the Iran-backed terrorist group that operates in Gaza that carried out the surprise attack. The holiday weekend attack, which came on the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, marked the first time since 1973 that the country had declared war.


Graham told reporters in Clemson, South Carolina, on Monday that if the Iranians escalate their attacks, then it is “now time for us to consider with our friends in Israel to hit Iran’s oil economy.”

“If there’s an escalation of this war, I am urging the Biden administration and the Israelis to jointly come up with a plan to destroy Iran’s oil infrastructure,” Graham said. “Without oil, they have no money. Without money, the terrorism loses its biggest benefactor. Everybody talks about Iran being responsible. Talk is cheap. It is now time to make them pay a price.”

The South Carolina Republican pointed out Tehran’s threat to activate Hezbollah, another Iranian-backed terrorist group, if Israel moves on Gaza in response to the attack and against U.S. service members in Syria. He argued that the Biden administration must respond if Iran acts on those threats.

“My response is the following: If you kill one American or hurt one American in Syria, the Iranian-backed militias, we’re coming for you,” Graham explained. “If this war escalates and you try further to destroy the Jewish state, you’re going to be out of the oil business. They have fixed targets that are easy to hit.”

Graham, the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that handles foreign aid, was among the members of Congress briefed on the situation in Israel on Sunday evening. He told reporters he had been in contact with his Democratic colleagues in the Senate and told the Israeli ambassador that there is “a tremendous amount of bipartisan support” for aid to Israel.

“I will work with Democrats and Republicans to provide supplemental aid to Israel, to replenish their weapons stock, to help them with medical supplies, and to get them ready if necessary to go after Iran if this war escalates,” he said. “I just literally got off the phone to the Israeli ambassador. There will be an aid package quickly coming from the Senate, but it will not be one and done. They will need more.”


Senators across the ideological spectrum have joined Graham in getting behind aid for Israel.

Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) said in a statement on Monday that: “I unequivocally support any necessary military, intelligence, and humanitarian aid to Israel. The United States has a moral obligation to be in lockstep with our ally as they confront this threat. I also fully support Israel neutralizing the terrorists responsible for this barbarism.”