01.03.20

Reaction To The Assassination Of Qasem Suleimani, Commander Of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps

Middlesex, Vermont

“No one here will shed tears over the death of such a ruthless killer as Qasem Soleimani.  His name is synonymous with the central role that Iran has played in promoting terrorism and instability in the Middle East and beyond, and many of his victims were Americans.

“But killing Soleimani in response to Iran’s recent provocations against U.S. targets in Iraq is not going to end Iran’s support of terrorism or attacks against Americans.  It is more likely to embolden hardliners in Iran and to trigger a further escalation of violent counter attacks.  

“Ever since President Trump made the reckless decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement, our relations with Iran have gotten progressively worse.  It has become painfully clear that the White House has no viable strategy for deescalating tensions with Iran.  His impulse, again and again, has been to scramble the board with no strategy to reset it.  To make matters worse, the decision to kill Soleimani – a dramatic escalation – was conducted without consulting the Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress or our allies.  They, like us, now have to prepare for whatever retaliatory action Iran decides to take and the possibility of a protracted armed conflict with Iran.  

“I have been in the Senate since Vietnam.  I have learned how easy it is to get into a war that no one wanted, and that wars never turn out as planned.  The initial bravado and rosy predictions soon give way to the costly realities.  The Iraq War was supposed to be short lived, with U.S. troops greeted as liberators.  Seventeen years later our forces are still there, our Embassy in Baghdad was attacked and partially burned by Iraqi Shia militias, and the Iraqi Government did nothing to stop them. 

“Before taking any further military action against Iran it is imperative that the White House obtains authorization from Congress, and spells out convincingly its strategy for working with our allies and other countries with an interest in the region to prevent further violence and avoid another disastrous war in the Middle East.” 

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Press Contact

David Carle: 202-224-3693