U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said retaliation "is not necessary," for now, after Iranian missiles hit Iraqi military bases hosting American troops.
His remarks came hours after he called Iran's strikes "an act of war."
"In my view, retaliation for the sake of retaliation is not necessary at this time," Graham tweeted Wednesday. "What is necessary is to lay out our strategic objectives regarding Iran in a simple and firm fashion."
He emphasized Washington's objectives are "stopping Iran from being the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, stopping ballistic missile build-up which jeopardizes regional stability and starting negotiations for a nuclear deal which provides nuclear power to Iran while dismantling a pathway to a bomb."
"The Maximum Pressure campaign with a credible military component is not only working, it’s the best way to achieve our strategic goals," Graham added.
Speaking to Fox News on Tuesday night following the strikes, the senator said: "It was an act of war by a regime that for the last 40 years has been a cancer in the Mideast."
The Pentagon confirmed missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military and coalition personnel at Al-Asad and Erbil on Tuesday.
Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, was killed by a U.S. airstrike Friday near Baghdad International Airport.
The operation capped a series of tit-for-tat recriminations between the U.S. and Iran-backed forces that began with the killing of an American contractor at a U.S. base in Iraq late last month.
The U.S. retaliated with airstrikes on the Iran-backed militia it says is responsible for conducting the attack, killing dozens. The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad was then attacked last Tuesday by a group of enraged militiamen and demonstrators.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.