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GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham warns of 'overwhelming military response' against Iran

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President Trump told Fox News Channel’s The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton that he just doesn’t want Iran to have nuclear weapons. He also said the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal has devastated Iran’s economy. (May 20)
AP, AP

Sen. Lindsey Graham on Monday warned Iran of an “overwhelming military response” if Tehran continues to threaten American interests — echoing a recent push from President Donald Trump on potential military action.

Graham, R-S.C., in a series to tweets said that he had a briefing from national security adviser John Bolton “about escalating tensions with Iran.” Graham also claimed that the nation “attacked pipelines and ships of other nations and created threat streams against American interests in Iraq.”

He said that if Iran does not stop its “threats,” there will be a military response from the U.S.

More: Trump says war would lead to ‘end’ of Iran

More: Iran says Trump playing ‘very dangerous game,’ risking ‘devastating war’

“The fault lies with the Iranians, not the United States or any other nation,” Graham tweeted. “If the Iranian threats against American personnel and interests are activated we must deliver an overwhelming military response. Stand firm Mr. President.”

The comments come after Trump on Sunday also threatened military action against Iran.

“If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!” the president tweeted.

The president in recent days had attempted to soften his tone on Iran after tensions spiked due to a sudden deployment of U.S. bombers and an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf over unspecified threats.

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said last week that the aircraft was sent because U.S. intelligence was informed of a threat of a possible kidnapping and killing of American soldiers. 

Trump says he doesn’t want war with Iran: Is John Bolton driving the US into a conflict anyway?

More: GOP lawmaker on Iran threat: Directive was to ‘kill and kidnap American soldiers’

Trump on Sunday said he was not seeking to go to war with Iran, but vowed that he would not let Iran develop nuclear weapons. 

“I’m not somebody that wants to go into war, because war hurts economies, war kills people most importantly – by far most importantly,” Trump said during an interview on Fox News.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted Monday that Trump is being goaded by Bolton, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammad bin Salman, who have all taken a hard line on Iran, to take action on the Islamic republic.

“@realdonaldTrump hopes to achieve what Alexander, Genghis other aggressors failed to do. Iranians have stood tall for millennia while aggressors all gone. #EconomicTerrorism genocidal taunts won’t ‘end Iran.’ #NeverThreatenAnIranian. Try respect – it works!” Zarif tweeted.

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