Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina said over the weekend that they have plans to introduce a new bipartisan resolution that would issue a warning to Iran about the dangers of expanding the conflict between Israel and Hamas into a bigger war by using fighters from Hezbollah.
Speaking on the “State of the Union” program on CNN on Sunday, Graham said of the resolution:
“It basically says that if the war expands, if Hezbollah opens up a second front against Israel in a substantial way to overwhelm the Iron Dome, then we should hit the Islamic Republic of Iran.
“There is no Hamas without the ayatollahs support. There is no Hezbollah without the ayatollah’s support. The great Satan in the region is not Israel or the United States. It’s Iran.”
Graham talked about just coming back from a trip he took to Israel with Blumenthal and others. While there, he said that Israel was “begging us to deter Iran.”
“They don’t want the war to widen. If any of our troops are killed by Iranian-backed militias, and that’s the expansion of the war.”
He further said that the bipartisan resolution would give notice to Iran that all U.S. military forces that are stationed near the region would be mobilized should Iran expand the conflict into a greater war by working through Hezbollah, and/or killed any Americans through proxy groups in Iraq or Syria.
“They need to hear that and they need to believe that.”
Blumenthal also said that he believed their plan was very aggressive. However, he said it was necessary and not just in Israel’s interests. He said:
“The purpose of the resolution is to deter Iran by showing we’re going to be behind the president as he seeks to stop the war from widening or escalating.”
Blumenthal also said that during their trip to Israel, they also visited Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and that “they loathe and fear Iran, and Hezbollah and Hamas, and the other proxies as much as Israel.”
“They are in favor of deterring a wider war. I think there’s bipartisan common ground here and there’s consensus in the region that deterrence is critical. Iran is a toxic, malign influence. It is financially equipping, supplying all of these proxies that have as their goal to disrupt and destabilize the region.”
Other powers in the region, including Saudi Arabia, are interested in normalizing their relations with Israel so that stability in the region can be achieved, Blumenthal said. The Connecticut senator added:
“There is a strong view, and I agree with it, that the reason why Hamas struck now and why Iran gave them the green light to strike now is because of the talks on normalizing relationships with Saudi Arabia were making progress.”
Graham also said that he didn’t want to take any military pressures off Hamas itself, but he did believe that it would be in everyone’s best interest for Israel to figure out a way that they could aid in the humanitarian situation happening in Gaza.