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Graham Disagrees with Trump Slapping Additional Sanctions on Iran

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Graham Disagrees with Trump Slapping Additional Sanctions on Iran

2019-09-18 17:58:441 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Lindsey Graham (Image source: Screenshot)

Donald Trump is falling back on the only thing he knows: money. It's the only way he knows how to affect a person or entity. His entire foreign policy seems to consist of sanctions and tariffs used as threats and punishments.

Currently, Iran is making bold, bold moves out of desperation because of a crippled economy due to Trump sanctions. After Iran appears to be responsible for the attack on Saudi oil fields, Trump is hitting back the only way he knows how: issuing even more sanctions. 

Trump tweeted Wednesday morning, "I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase sanctions on the country of Iran!"

He first hit Iran with sanctions in November 2018. This was a few months after he had pulled the United States out of a nuclear deal former President Barack Obama had forged with Iran and other nations. Trump warned sanctions would be coming, and they did, followed by even more later on. 

This crippled Iran's economy as they have begun striking out at the U.S. and other nations, trying to get noticed. They have threatened to build up their uranium arsenal again if the other nations in the nuclear pact don't help them financially.

Over the weekend Saudi Arabia oil fields were attacked with drones that affected half of the world's oil. Trump is suggesting he could meet up with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani to work things out, but he reported back that he refuses to meet with Trump until all sanctions are lifted. 

And now Trump has instructed Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to "substantially increase" the sanctions on Iran.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is not in favor of the additional sanctions and doesn't believe it will be enough to make them stop striking out at other countries. 

"The maximum pressure campaign has worked in the sense it's crippled the regime's economy, it's made life difficult for the regime, but it has not changed their behavior," he told reporters.

"The only conclusion I think you can reach is that the Iranians, while having been hurt by the maximum pressure campaign, have not been deterred in terms of their provocative behavior," Graham further explained. "And it's going to take something, I think, beyond sanctions to achieve that deterrence." 

When pressured to comment on whether Trump's additional sanctions would be enough to deter Iran, Graham said, "In the past they haven't been, but time will tell. ... My belief is that additional sanctions will fall short."

This is the second time this week Trump and Graham have disagreed about how to handle Iran, despite the two being close allies throughout Trump's presidency. 

With Trump indicating on Monday that he was trying to avoid going to war with Iran, Graham reflected back on Trump's actions following Iran downing a U.S. surveillance drone. Trump authorized a military strike, then canceled it at the last minute.

"The measured response by President Trump regarding the shooting down of an American drone was clearly seen by the Iranian regime as a sign of weakness," said Graham. He added it was "imperative" that the U.S. deter further Iranian strikes by taking decisive action. 

Trump lashed out as his ally on Twitter, telling him, "No Lindsey, it was a sign of strength that some people just don't understand!"

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