A senior Republican lawmaker says that US President Donald Trump must quickly retaliate against Iran so that other countries like China, Russia and North Korea will not take “provocative” acts toward the United States.
The remarks by Rep. Mike Rogers came on Friday after Trump said he had cancelled a strike on Iran 10 minutes before the attack was going to be launched.
Trump reportedly approved military strikes against Iran after the Islamic Republic shot down an intruding American spy drone in the country’s southern coastal province of Hormozgan.
The top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee said that Trump did not need to seek approval from Congress as it already had the authority to launch strikes against Iran.
The president “did consult with Congress as he was trying to decide what action to take, but when you have a country like Iran shoot down an American drone in international air space, I don’t think we need to have three months of argument in the Congress to decide what needs to be done,” Rogers said during an appearance on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers.”
“He needs to take action in a quick manner. Whether it’s sanctions or a kinetic attack, he needs to make that call, but there has to be a response. Otherwise you’re going to see countries like North Korea, China and Russia becoming much more provocative in their actions toward us if they know we’re going to be paralyzed and unable to respond.”
“I don’t know what his thinking is, but I do think he is going to make some response,” he added.
Tensions between Iran and the US have been on the rise since May last year, when the White House under Trump abruptly exited a hard-won multilateral nuclear deal with Iran and reinstated its unilateral sanctions against Tehran in defiance of international calls and warnings for Washington not to undermine the accord — which was widely hailed as a fruit of successful international diplomacy.
The shooting down of the US spy drone was the latest incident in a chain of events around the Persian Gulf region which started after Washington upped the ante in its conflict with Iran by deploying additional troops, along with Patriot missiles and manned and unmanned spying aircraft, aircraft carriers, and B-52 bombers to the Middle East over the past few weeks. Iran, in response, called on the US to stop instigating conflict in the region and pull its troops out of the Persian Gulf.
Despite Trump’s apparent effort to de-escalate escalating tensions in the region, top senators are worried that he might eventually start a new war there.
"The president may not intend to go to war here, but we're worried that he and the Administration may bumble into a war," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters after meeting with top administration officials at the White House on Thursday.
Schumer, however, said there needed to be an open debate and a congressional decision on funding before any military operation was launched.