Graham: ‘It’s Time to Bring Iran to Heel’
As Israel’s government formed a unified war-time cabinet Wednesday to respond to the atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists against hundreds of Israeli civilians over the weekend, questions continued to swirl about how the terrorists were able to launch a surprise attack that evaded detection from Israel’s elite security services. But as an increasing chorus of Israeli officials and lawmakers on Capitol Hill are making clear, one key component of the attack is beyond question: the integral involvement of Iran.
Iddo Moed, Israel’s ambassador-designate to Canada, told Politico on Tuesday that “it’s clear that there is direct involvement in what is happening right now,” pointing to “August meetings that took place in Beirut between the heads of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard’s Al-Quds Force, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and Hamas.”
A Wall Street Journal report backed up Moed’s claims, stating that Iranian security officials helped plan the attacks and “gave the green light” for the assault during a meeting in Beirut on October 2. Still, other mainstream outlets like CNN are citing anonymous sources that claim that senior Iranian government officials were “caught by surprise” by the Hamas assault.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) isn’t buying it. On Tuesday, he joined “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” to discuss Iran’s involvement in the attacks.
“It is impossible for this coordinated attack on Israel — land, sea, and air, very complicated, very sophisticated, in my view — to be planned and executed without Iran’s knowledge,” Graham contended. “So the [Biden] administration is willfully trying to avoid labeling Iran as part of this. I am 100% confident the Iranians were very much involved in this particular attack, and they’ve been involved in helping Hamas for over a generation. … We have miscalculated for generations now who Iran really is.”
Graham went on to emphasize that the Biden administration’s strategy of trying to appease Iran is fundamentally flawed, based on the lessons of history.
“[Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is] trying to spread Shiism throughout Islam and dominate the Sunni Arabs. That’s what he wants. What did Hitler want? Nobody believed he wanted to kill all the Jews. But he did write he wanted a master race. The Ayatollah wants a master religion. If you don’t get that by now, you’re making a huge mistake. So all those in the 30s who thought Hitler just wanted a little more territory that was German speaking — they didn’t read his book. I listened to the ayatollah’s speeches. I have been briefed by the CIA. I know what they want. They want to kill all the Jews. They want to destroy Islam as we know it and they want to come after us. It is now time to bring them to heel.”
In response to U.N. Secretary General António Guterres claiming that Hamas’s brutal attack was caused by “a long standing conflict with a 56-year long occupation and no political end in sight,” Graham noted that Israel has a long track record of seeking peace.
“Israel has made peace with Arab countries through the Abraham Accords,” he observed. “Israel is seeking a peace agreement with Saudi Arabia, the center of Sunni Islam. So there’s plenty of evidence that Israel can make peace with Islamic nations who seek peace. What the secretary general doesn’t understand is that the motivation of Hamas, Hezbollah, and the ayatollah is to destroy the Jewish state. So Israel is capable of making peace with its neighbors. But it would be asking Israel to make peace with Adolf Hitler. … The ayatollah wants to kill all the Jews because of his religious doctrine. So that’s what people don’t get.”
Graham further underscored that one of the main motivations for the Hamas attack was to disrupt a peace deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
“I talked to the Saudi ambassador yesterday. … The reason they did it now is that we’re getting close to a deal to end the Arab-Israeli conflict that would isolate Iran even further, and they’re trying to stop this peace deal. That’s why they’re doing it. And that’s why I’m going to go over to Saudi Arabia and Israel and not let Iran get away with it.”
As to the next steps that the U.S. should take in the conflict, Graham was clear.
“We need to put the Iranians on notice that the pillage and the murder and the destruction is coming to an end,” he stressed. “You’re responsible for killing 14 Americans. If one of these hostages is executed by Hamas, if there is an escalation against Israel in any way, we’re going to you, Iran, we’re going to put you out of the oil business. You won’t have any money to sponsor terrorism.”
“Number two,” Graham continued, “we need to be all in with giving Israel what they need if they have to attack Iran. But to go in on the ground and destroy Hamas, which will be one bloody fight … we should give Israel the freedom of action and all the weapons they need to destroy Hamas. We should put Iran on notice: You’re next if this gets bigger.”
Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.