Congress Must Make Clear: Neither Trump Nor Saudi Arabia Can Authorize US War With Iran

September 16, 2019

In response to President Trump’s statement that the US is “locked and loaded” to take military action against the perpetrator of Sunday’s attacks on Saudi oil facilities and his administration’s allegations that the attacks were launched from Iran, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami released the following statement:

“President Trump needs a reminder that neither he nor Mohammed Bin Salman have the authority to take the United States into war with Iran. Only Congress can authorize such a response — and they have not done so.

“Just months ago, bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress voted in support of amendments to the NDAA clearly stating that President Trump is not authorized to launch a disastrous new war of choice with Iran. Congressional leaders must now include this provision — known as the Khanna-Gaetz amendment — in their final version of the legislation. They cannot allow this dangerous president to usurp their constitutional responsibility.

“While the precise nature and origin of Sunday’s very serious attacks have yet to be definitively established, they help make clear the complete failure of the administration’s hyper-aggressive ‘maximum pressure’ campaign against Iran. By unilaterally violating a successful nuclear agreement and taking other reckless actions, the president has stoked tensions, undermined diplomacy and further destabilized the entire region.”