Oct 31 2023

Graham Presses Secretaries of State and Defense on Biden Administration's Response to Iran

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today questioned Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on the Biden Administration’s response to Iran at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on the administration’s national security supplemental request.

  • GRAHAM: “Is it a red line for Iran to orchestrate an attack on our forces that kills an American in Syria or Iraq? Is that a red line? Can we tell the Iranians today, in case they’re watching, ‘if an American is killed by your proxies in Syria and Iraq, we’re coming for you.’ Can you say that?”

           AUSTIN: “I think Iran should be held accountable for the activities of...”

           GRAHAM: “…Can we say publicly to the families who have service members over in Iraq and Syria, that we will hit Iran if they try to kill an American through their proxies? Can we say that?”

           AUSTIN: “What we have said and what we’ll continue to say, Senator, is that we’re going to hold...”

           GRAHAM: “Well, I wish you would be more clear. Because I’ll tell you this: If one of these soldiers is killed, I’m going to say it and I hope other people will join me.”  https://youtu.be/qFTkwvLmepg?si=AjJ-Yo-pzBqmcbOU&t=138


  •  GRAHAM: “From an Israeli point of view, there will be no ceasefire until Hamas ceases to be a threat to the State of Israel. Do you agree with that statement?”

            BLINKEN: “I do.”

            GRAHAM: “Okay so, no ceasefire until Hamas ceases to be a threat. It makes perfect sense to me. Do you believe it is the goal of Hamas to destroy Israel and not have a two-state solution?”

            BLINKEN: “You do not have to take my word for it. Take Hamas’ word.”

            GRAHAM: “I could not agree with that more. Do you agree with that, General Austin?”

            AUSTIN: “I do. They have said so.” https://youtu.be/qFTkwvLmepg?si=Dt8h1sfXolzPmtzX&t=11


  • GRAHAM: “Do you agree with me, Secretary Blinken, the one of the main reasons this attack occurred is because Iran wants to stop the reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Israel?”

           BLINKEN: “Yes, those who are opposed to normalization are Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran.” https://youtu.be/qFTkwvLmepg?si=RIFlDaAznItrWR6g&t=291

Click here to watch Graham’s full remarks