Video purports to show Iran removing ship mine
WASHINGTON â€”Â Amid a burgeoning crisis involving alleged Iranian strikes on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, some members of Congress are calling for more action than President Donald Trump has publicly voiced his support for. Â Â Â Â Â
In a Sunday morning interview on CBS Newsâ€™ Face the Nation, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., argued for retaliatory strikes on Iran.
â€œThese unprovoked attacks on commercial shipping warrant a retaliatory military strike,â€ he told host Margaret Brennan.
When asked if the United States had the necessary congressional authorization to strike Iran, Cotton replied â€œyes.â€
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Echoing earlier remarks in the program from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Cotton argued that â€œthe president has the authorization to act to defend American interests.â€
Pompeo had said that â€œWe- we always have the authorization to defend American interestsâ€¦These are attacks on fundamental, international norms, and now on American interests, and we always have the right to defend our country.â€
When Pompeo was asked whether he wanted a strike on Iran, he said, â€œOh goodness. President Trump has said very clearly, he doesn’t want to go to war.â€
Neither Pompeo nor Cotton gave specifics, though, on what specific authorization the United States had to attack Iran.Â
The United States and Iran have escalated their rhetoric following attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. The U.S. military hasÂ released a video allegedly showing the Iranian Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded mine from one of the ships, saying that Iran was trying to remove evidence of its involvement in the attacks. Iran has denied involvement, though, and has accused the United States of waging an â€œIranophobic campaignâ€ against it.
Others have urged caution as tensions have escalated between the United States and Iran.
On â€œMeet the Press,â€ Mayor Pete Buttigieg told host Chuck Todd that he saw â€œsomething disturbingly reminiscent of the kind of accelerating drumbeat that got us into the war in Iraq.â€
Contributing: Michael Collins