Merkley Blasts Administration for Escalating Tensions with Iran

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement regarding the spiraling national security concerns stemming from President Trump’s reckless and impulsive actions and statements:

“President Trump and Secretary Pompeo are either dangerously inept or colossally ignorant, and have done enormous damage to U.S. security.

“In short order they have…

“Turned massive demonstrations in Iran against the Iranian government into massive demonstrations against the U.S.;

“Turned demonstrations in Iraq against Iranian influence into demonstrations against U.S. influence;

“Mobilized the Iraqi parliament to vote to expel the United States forces from Iraq;

“Given Iran an excuse to cancel the restraints on their nuclear program that Iran had agreed to and followed for four years before the Trump administration broke the agreement;

“Strengthened the role of Iranian militias in Iraq, expanding Iranian influence—the exact opposite of our goal of reducing Iran’s influence in Iraq;

“Caused U.S. forces to set aside their operations against ISIS in order to prepare to defend themselves against attacks by Iran;

“Placed U.S. forces and assets in the region at greater risk of attack;

“And, most dangerously, set in motion an escalation of attacks that could generate a war between the U.S. and Iran.

“Now all sane Americans must strive to stop the escalation into war.

“We must insist on following our U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress, not the President, the power to decide to go to war.

“Our founders argued that the cost of war in blood and treasure is far too great to be decided by any one person.  

“They were right.”