The lawmakers said that a strike would also compel Iran to “rapidly pursue a nuclear deterrent.”
The United States and European Union have enacted economic sanctions against Iran in an attempt to isolate the country and convince it to drop its nuclear ambitions.
Iran has been defiant in response to the sanctions, announcing new nuclear advances on Wednesday, including an underground bunker and homemade nuclear fuel rods. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, while the United States and other allies believe Iran is seeking weapons.
Jones told The Hill that if military action is needed, the U.S. military should let Israel be the country to strike.
“Let them take military action,” Jones said. “This nation can’t pay its own bills without borrowing from foreign governments. … Why in the world would we be spending millions every day to take action when there’s another country that’s in better financial shape.”
The lawmakers said that “robust, sustained diplomacy is the best option to resolve our serious concerns about Iran's nuclear program.”
“I just don’t think we can afford militarily to be drawn into another attack,” Jones said.
A bipartisan group of senators, meanwhile, is introducing a resolution that rules out a strategy of containment for Iran and holding a press conference Thursday afternoon. Some Democrats have been reluctant to sign onto the effort because they don’t want to interfere with Obama’s role as commander in chief in an election year.