- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday said the goal of U.S. strategy for Iran was to “restore deterrence” after the attack on Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Pence described the Trump administration’s intentions at a lunch meeting with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill, but did not specify how deterrence would be restored or if it would involve U.S. military action, according to attendees.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, who attended the meeting, said he agreed with the approach.

“Restoring deterrence means we have to stop it now. Their ability is growing in terms of missiles. Their technology is improving even under sanctions,” he said. “So it has to be a blow beyond what we are doing today. I think it has to be something other than sanctions.”

U.S. and Saudi officials determined that drones launched from Iran carried out missile strikes Saturday on Saudi oil facilities.



Mr. Graham, a hawkish South Carolina Republican, said Tehran was emboldened when President Trump called off a retaliatory action when Iran shot down a U.S. drone in June.

“Iranians saw the president’s restraint as weakness and not as space for diplomacy. So clearly they got the wrong message that inaction on the drone event, I think, has reinforced the narrative that the administration, the Western world [and] the region really isn’t going to do much about provocations,” he said.

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