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Kelly Garrity

Graham to Iran: ‘If you escalate the war, we’re coming for you’

Sen. Lindsey Graham listens during a press conference on Sept. 27, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. | Mariam Zuhaib/AP

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) threatened Iran on Sunday, calling the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah “a proxy of Iran” and warning that Iran would face consequences should Hezbollah escalate the tense situation along Israel’s northern border.

“If Hezbollah, which is a proxy of Iran, launches a massive attack on Israel, I would consider that a threat to the State of Israel, existential in nature,” Graham said Sunday during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.

“I will introduce a resolution in the United States Senate to allow military action by the United States in conjunction with Israel to knock Iran out of the oil business," he said. "Iran, if you escalate this war, we're coming for you.”

Graham, a longtime foreign policy hawk, also called the idea that Iran was not involved in the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack on Israel’s southern border “laughable.” Iranian officials commended Hamas’ operation, but initially denied involvement in the attack.

U.S. and Israeli officials have also said they are unsure if Iran was involved in the attack, but a spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces told POLITICO they were “100 percent sure that the Iranians were not surprised,” by the attack.

Hezbollah fighters had killed at least one person and wounded three others in a missile strike on an Israeli northern border village Sunday, the militant group and Israeli medics said according to Reuters.

A spokesperson for the Israeli military also warned Hezbollah on Sunday.

“I would highly recommend that Hezbollah watch very closely what is happening to Hamas and their organization in Gaza as we speak,” Lt. Col.(r) Peter Lerner said on ABC's "This Week." “If they have, they should be very cautious of crossing that threshold because we are determined to defend the state of Israel.”

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