Graham calls Iran 'the cancer of the Middle East'

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by AT&T - Simone wins bronze with altered beam routine The job of shielding journalists is not finished The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions MORE (R-S.C.) called Iran “the cancer of the Middle East,” while saying he was glad one of the country's top military leaders Gen. Qassem Soleimani was dead. 

Graham defended President TrumpDonald TrumpFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries Missouri Rep. Billy Long enters Senate GOP primary Trump-backed Mike Carey wins GOP primary in Ohio special election MORE’s decision to attack and kill Soleimani on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” Sunday, calling Soleimani an “evil man” and “terrorist leader” with “American blood on his hands.”

"I can assure the American people that he died not because of the color of his skin or because of his ethnic origins, he died because of the content of his character,” he said. 

“I’m glad he’s dead and I’m glad we finally got a president who understands Iran is the cancer of the Middle East and they must change the status quo.” Graham told Maria BartiromoMaria Sara BartiromoGraham says he'd 'leave town' to stop .5T spending plan The Memo: Trump pours gas on tribalism with Jan. 6 rewrite Trump: Tech giants 'immune from so many different things, but they're not immune from the lawsuit' MORE.


The Republican senator said the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure campaign” against Iran is working. But he also called on the president to lay out what the U.S. wants from Iran, including ending the sponsoring of terrorism, stopping the dismembering of the Middle East, putting an end to building rockets and missiles and stopping “being so provocative.” 

The past two weeks have been tumultuous between the U.S. and Iran, starting with an attack by an Iranian-backed militia that killed a U.S. citizen. The U.S. responded with a strike on the militia in Iraq, prompting supporters of the militia to storm the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

These attacks were followed by a strike at the Baghdad airport that resulted in the death of Soleimani, one of the country’s most powerful generals. Iran has reacted to the killing by threatening retaliation, leading to Trump tweeting the U.S. will attack 52 sites if there is any retaliation.