By Robert A. Vella
The House of Representatives voted yesterday to limit President Trump’s war powers concerning Iran, and now it’s the Senate’s turn to take up the issue. After Wednesday’s aborted attempt by the White House to convince Congress that the assassination of a top Iranian military official was justified, new reporting indicates that their rationale was not only weak but fabricated as well. Although stymied to provoke Iran into an over-aggressive retaliation which would justify a massive U.S. response, and frustrated by unsupportive reactions from Congress and from the American people, the Trump administration has resorted to additional economic sanctions on Iranian figures and industries.
House votes to limit Trump’s war powers
WASHINGTON — The House adopted a war powers resolution Thursday with the aim of limiting President Donald Trump’s military actions against Iran.
The adoption of the measure 224-194 on a largely party-line vote came amid heightened tensions between the two countries after the United States killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Iran retaliated with a ballistic missile attack against Iraqi airbases housing U.S. forces.
Republicans Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Matt Gaetz and Francis Rooney, both of Florida, voted for the measure, while eight Democrats voted against it: Joe Cunningham of South Carolina, Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, Kendra Horn of Oklahoma, Elaine Luria of Virginia, Ben McAdams of Utah, Anthony Brindisi, Stephanie Murphy and Max Rose, all of New York.
Soleimani assassination rationale falls apart
On the day the U.S. military killed a top Iranian commander in Baghdad, U.S. forces carried out another top secret mission against a senior Iranian military official in Yemen, according to U.S. officials.
The strike targeting Abdul Reza Shahlai, a financier and key commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force who has been active in Yemen, did not result in his death, according to four U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
The unsuccessful operation may indicate that the Trump administration’s killing of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani last week was part of a broader operation than previously explained, raising questions about whether the mission was designed to cripple the leadership of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or solely to prevent an imminent attack on Americans as originally stated.
A stymied Trump administration resorts to economic sanctions
Most Americans believe President Donald Trump has made the United States less safe by ordering the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, a new poll has found.
The survey by USA Today and Ipsos revealed that 55 percent of the country believe the drone strike on the former Quds Force leader near Baghdad International Airport last Friday has made America either “somewhat” or “much less” safe.
By comparison, only 24 percent of survey respondents said the killing made the U.S. more safe, while a little more than one in five said they don’t know if the country was more or less safe.
Ipsos further found that more than two-thirds of Americans believe Iranian-linked attacks on U.S. interests in the Middle East are more likely as a result of the Soleimani killing and its aftermath, with 63 percent telling posters they believe the likelihood of terrorist attacks on home soil has risen.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the new sanctions will target eight senior Iranian officials involved in “destabilizing” activities in the Middle East as well as Tuesday’s missile strike, which came in retaliation for the U.S. killing of a senior Iranian general in a drone strike.
Mnuchin said President Donald Trump will issue an executive order imposing sanctions on anyone involved in the Iranian textile, construction, manufacturing or mining sectors. They will also impose separate sanctions against the steel and iron sectors.