In pointed remarks made to Fox News on Sunday, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said Saudi Arabia would be defeated by Iran militarily “in about a week” if it did not have the support of the United States.
“Let me put it this way — I want to be very blunt with you: If it weren’t for the United States, they’d be speaking Farsi in about a week in Saudi Arabia,” Graham said.
Saudi Arabia is not involved in a war with Iran, and Tehran has made it clear that it will never initiate military aggression against any country. But Riyadh has launched a war on impoverished Yemen, where it has been bogged down for almost four years now despite disproportionately superior military power.
Earlier, US President Donald Trump had belittled Riyadh by saying Saudi rulers might not last “for two weeks” without the support of the US. But Trump has also taken a stubborn stance in defense of the Saudi leadership in an international scandal over the state-ordered murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi. In attempting to justify that defense, Trump has partially pointed to the massive purchases of American weapons by Riyadh.