Haley Says U.S. Should ‘Go After’ Iranian Military Over Deadly Drone Strike

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Nikki Haley suggested on Tuesday morning that the United States should “go after” Iranian military leaders in response to the drone attack by an Iran-backed militia that killed three American service members.

“Go after the launch sites where they’re doing it, and then go after the leadership,” she said in an interview on “CBS Mornings,” after making similar comments on Monday.

“This is surgical,” she said, adding, “You take one or two of them out, and that’s what you do.”

A spokeswoman for Ms. Haley’s campaign said the candidate was referring specifically to the leaders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch of the Iranian military.

When one of the CBS hosts, Tony Dokoupil, noted that Iranian leadership is based in Tehran and asked if Ms. Haley was suggesting “a strike inside Iran,” she replied, citing the Trump administration’s killing of the Iranian commander Qassim Suleimani in 2020: “When we assassinated Suleimani, he wasn’t in Iran. They move around.”

She also called for imposing more sanctions on Iran. “They don’t care if you kill their proxy fighters,” she said. “They don’t care if you destroy their missiles. What they care is if you take out their money or their leadership.”

More than 30 service members were also injured in the drone attack on a remote outpost in Jordan on Sunday. The Iran-backed militias who call themselves the Axis of Resistance claimed responsibility and Iran itself has denied any involvement.

President Biden — who previously authorized limited strikes in response to less deadly attacks by Iran-linked militias on U.S. forces — has vowed to retaliate, but has not yet made a decision on how forcefully to confront Iran given the risk of escalating a regional war.

Asked by another host, Gayle King, whether she was concerned that Americans didn’t have “the appetite” for a broader conflict, Ms. Haley said: “You know why they don’t have the appetite? No one has told them why they should care. Biden hasn’t said it, Congress hasn’t said it. You have to overcommunicate with the American people. This is not about starting war; this is about preventing war.”

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Haley Says U.S. Should ‘Go After’ Iranian Military Over Deadly Drone Strike

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