US Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, on Friday filed a “war powers resolution” to oblige authorization by Congress of any use of US military force against Iran “to prevent further escalation of hostilities” with the Islamic republic.
“For years, I’ve been deeply concerned about President Trump stumbling into a war with Iran. We’re now at a boiling point, and Congress must step in before Trump puts even more of our troops in harm’s way,” Senator Kaine said in statement.
I just filed a resolution to prevent Trump from starting a war with Iran. The President wants to pretend that Congress doesn't exist, but it's our clear Constitutional duty to debate and vote before allowing him to rush into an unnecessary war.— Tim Kaine (@timkaine) January 3, 2020
Kaine’s resolution, which he says is “privileged”, will force the Senate to vote. The resolution requires that any offensives against Iran must be “explicitly” authorized by Congress by the use of a declaration of war or the specific authorization for use of military force. The Senator noted that this resolution does not prevent the US from defending itself in case of imminent attack.
“We owe it to our servicemembers to have a debate and vote about whether or not it’s in our national interest to engage in another unnecessary war in the Middle East,” the Senator said.
Senator Kaine has been warning for years against Trump’s use of military force without authorization by Congress. Kaine also warned of the consequences of pulling the US from the Iranian Nuclear deal and pointed out that Trump was “blundering toward war” with Tehran.
“As I have warned for years, Trump’s decision to tear up a diplomatic deal that was working and resume escalating aggressions with Iran has brought us to the brink of another war in the Middle East. Qassim Suleimani was a despicable killer, but this drastic escalation of hostilities — waging a military attack on Iraqi soil over the objections of that country and without congressional authorization — will increase the threat to American troops, diplomats, and families in the region,” Kaine said on Friday.
The Senator also slammed Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign against Tehran, saying that it “has made the region less stable, divided us from key allies, and is driving our adversaries together”.
On Friday, US forces conducted a drone attack near Baghdad airport targeting a vehicle containing Soleimani, the commander who led Iran’s IRGC Quds force. Trump said that his administration took preemptive action against Soleimani to "stop a war".
An advisor to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the United States crossed a "red line" with the attack and Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, has stated that a "harsh retaliation is waiting" for the United States.