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Pascrell Statement on Iran Tensions

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) today reacted to rising tensions between the United States and Iran and reports this morning that Donald Trump ordered strikes against the Islamic Republic before calling them off.

“Iran’s provocations are unacceptable, and there can be no question it is a destabilizing force in the Middle East and a threat to our friend Israel. But rising regional tensions can be traced directly to this administration’s reckless saber-rattling and removal of the United States from the Iran Nuclear Deal. Trump’s unilateral decision to ignore the IAEA’s finding that Iran was in compliance with it and to rip up the agreement was an indefensible mistake, born not from a desire to preserve lasting peace but out of petulance.

“What is our guiding strategy? We must define it, and ensure our allies are onboard. We don’t even have a Secretary of Defense. Diplomacy requires painstaking patience, level temperament, and reasoned judgment, and its ultimate fruits must be honored. These are guideposts of our any foreign policy, not making it up as you go along like some geopolitical reality show. Trump must negotiate with our international partners and rely on advisers who will counsel diligence and not belligerence.”

“The wide credibility gap of this administration and its officials makes it more difficult to verify the accuracy of its claims about activity in the region and so increases the pressure on Congress to get factual answers. No rational people want war. Diplomacy is the answer and the administration must continue to pursue it. And the White House must consult continually and honestly with Congress because we have the sole authority to authorize force.”

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