Rep. Hakeem Jeffries: ‘Cowboy Diplomacy Will Not Work in Iran’

Melanie Arter | January 8, 2020 | 4:57pm EST
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(Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage for The Recording Academy)
(Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage for The Recording Academy)

( - House Democrats on Wednesday condemned President Donald Trump’s military action taking out Iran’s top general Qassem Soleimani, calling into question whether the decision was “potentially’ unlawful.

“This is a very serious time in America both as it relates to the presidential accountability that we continue to address, but perhaps most importantly, this moment of great tension and conflict in the world, in the Middle East, in Iraq with U.S. troops and Americans in harm’s way unnecessarily in the view of many because of the provocative potentially unlawful actions of the president of the United States with respect to the recent strike,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said.

“Cowboy diplomacy did not work in Vietnam. Cowboy diplomacy will not work in Iran. We are hopeful that the administration will de-escalate this situation and that the president will move forward in a responsible fashion working with our partners and allies particularly as it relates to the European Union to move the world into a better space,” Jeffries said at a Capitol Hill press conference one hour prior to the president’s address on the situation in Iran.

Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) said her colleagues want to prevent the situation with Iran from escalating into a war. To that end, she said the House plans to vote on legislation requiring the administration to cease military action with Iran within one month if further congressional action is not taken.

“Despite what the president has tweeted, all is not well,” she said. “As the world witnessed last night, the president’s actions last week have set off an avalanche of chaos that endangers our servicemembers, diplomats, the Iraqi people, and Americans. We must commit to de-escalating this crisis in front of us.

“To that end, the House plans this week to vote on a war powers resolution to reconfirm Congress’s long-established responsibilities by mandating that if no further congressional action is taken, the administration’s military hostilities with Iran must cease within 30 days,” Clark announced.

“We know that General Soleimani was a terrorist. We know that he was worse than a terrorist, because he had and commanded individuals within a nation state, and because of that gravity, we know that there are severe consequences that must be assessed in the wake of these actions,” Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-New Mexico) said at the press conference.

“The responsibility that we have is to require a strategy moving forward, because the question we face today is whether the United States’ actions to eliminate General Soleimani puts us at greater threat or could push two countries into a prolonged military conflict. We don’t know what the strategy is, and that’s why we need to gather the information to determine the answer to that question,” she said.

“What was the intelligence that led to this action? What was the source for that intelligence? How trustworthy was that source? In evaluating whether or not there was an imminent threat to America, what was the evaluation about the potential repercussions or response that Iran would have?” the congresswoman asked.

“What was the evaluation of potential responses that others in support of Iran would take? With 15,000 more troops now on the ground than we had in the region six months ago, what are sending the troops away from their families for? These are the questions that we have to have answered,” she said.


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