Liz Cheney calls for ‘proportional military’ response against Iran
House Republican Conference Chair Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyLiz Cheney says world is more stable, ‘safer’ under Trump Sunday shows preview: Democratic candidates make the rounds after debate Overnight Defense: Afghanistan tops foreign policy issues at Dem debate | Erdogan says he’ll discuss missile sale with Trump | US again challenges Beijing’s claim to South China Sea MORE (R-Wyo.) said on Wednesday the U.S. should consider a “proportional military” response against Iran among other potential actions over its suspected involvement in drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil supply.
The position from Cheney comes as Republicans such as Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump fires back at Graham over Iran criticism Overnight Defense: GOP wary of action on Iran | Pence says US ‘locked and loaded’ to defend allies | Iran’s leader rules out talks with US Republicans wary of US action on Iran MORE (R-S.C.) are calling on President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Carter: ‘I hope there’s an age limit’ on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border MORE to pursue additional action after earlier on Wednesday saying the U.S. would impose additional sanctions on Iran.
“Not acting sends a message, frankly, that’s likely to encourage an additional escalation by the Iranians if they feel they can take this kind of action without a response. So I’m pleased to see that we’ve begun to see some of that response,“ Cheney said.
“I also think that a proportional military response is the right way to go, and I’m hopeful that Secretary Pompeo is coordinating in that regard with the Saudis,” she added.
She also advocated the U.S consider pursuing additional United Nations sanctions in response.
President Trump on Wednesday said that he has instructed Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinBipartisan housing finance reform on the road less taken Trump at a pivotal crossroads on Iran Overnight Defense: Trump says he doesn’t want war with Iran | Pentagon chief calls attack on Saudi oil facilities ‘unprecedented’ | Administration weighs response | 17th US service member killed in Afghanistan this year MORE to “substantially” increase economic sanctions on Iran.
Trump administration officials have blamed Iran for drone attacks on two Saudi oil sites over the weekend, though the president himself has not yet definitely pinned the blame on Tehran for them.
Graham, another leading GOP lawmaker on foreign affairs, has voiced skepticism over the administration taking a more cautious approach with Iran, with the South Carolina Republican arguing on Wednesday that increased sanctions are not enough to prevent Iran from taking similar action in the future.
Graham and Trump had disagreed on how to respond on Iran on Tuesday, in a rare sign of discord among two allies.
Cheney, who’s believed to be considering running for Senate next year, has emerged as one of the leading GOP voices on foreign policy and defense, often advocating a more hawkish U.S. response.
That has put her at odds with other GOP lawmakers like Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRepublicans wary of US action on Iran EXCLUSIVE: Swing-state voters oppose ‘surprise’ medical bill legislation, Trump pollster warns Rand Paul: Almost every mass shooter ‘is sending off signals’ MORE (R-Ky.), with whom she recently engaged on a Twitter feud. The Wyoming Republican has argued that Americans are not supportive of Paul’s isolationist views, while he has accused her of “warmongering.”
Meanwhile, House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseOn The Money: Senate panel scraps vote on key spending bill amid standoff | Democrats threaten to vote against defense bill over wall funding | Trump set to meet with aides about reducing capital gains taxes Overnight Energy: House moves to block Trump drilling | House GOP rolls out proposal to counter offshore drilling ban | calls mount for NOAA probe House GOP rolls out energy proposal to counter Democrats offshore drilling ban MORE (R-La.) said sanctions have proven to be an effective strategy in the past, adding that the U.S. needs to focus on preventing Iran from “advancing towards a nuclear weapon.”
“I think it’s one of the reasons you’re seeing Iran act out is because what President Trump has been doing to stand up to Iran has been effective,” he told reporters.
“But you know, Iran has proven to the world right now why they can’t be trusted with a nuclear weapon. … The president is weighing his options as he should, but he’s proven that he’s willing to stand up to bullies around the world, and Iran is one of the biggest.”