Lindsey Graham Says US Will Inflict “Severe Pain” in Iran

“If they’re itching for a fight, they’re gonna get one.”

Bill Clark/Zuma

Following an Iranian attack on a US drone Thursday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) declared that the Trump administration would inflict “severe pain” on the Middle Eastern nation.

“Here’s what Iran needs to get ready for: severe pain inside their country,” Graham said. “If they’re itching for a fight, they’re gonna get one.”

Tensions have been rising for months, with Iran threatening to violate the terms of a landmark nuclear deal that Trump walked away from last year, and the US administration threatening to prevent Iranian oil exports. Last week, the US blamed Iran for bombing two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. After the US drone was shot down Thursday, Trump took to Twitter, saying that “Iran made a very big mistake!” It’s not entirely clear what the president meant by that; he later reportedly said that he believes some individual in Iran “made a mistake” and noted that the drone was unmanned.

Trump also said the public will “soon find out” whether he will strike Iran.

Graham, however, has been less guarded in his statements.

“Their capabilities pale in comparison to ours,” he said. “We’re not going to let them disrupt navigation of the seas, attack our allies and US interests without paying a price.”


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.