"John Bolton has usurped your [Trump’s] authority as Commander-in-Chief [CINC]. He countermanded your order for an immediate withdrawal from Syria, and now he has alarmed our allies by agitating for war against Iran. It was reported that you hope to avoid war with Iran. But the CINC does not ‘hope'. He commands. He does not delegate war-making to his staff", Black said in a letter on Friday.
"I find the constant sabre rattling and efforts to ignite a war against Iran deeply troubling. I voted for you [Trump], but I did not elect John Bolton. I was alarmed when you chose him as the NSA, since he was a key architect of our regime change war in Iraq", Black said. "I oppose the war against Iran. The notion that Iran intends to attack the US is utterly absurd".
Black told Trump that he was writing the letter, dated 22 May, from the perspective of someone who served as a colonel in the Office of the US Judge Advocate General and exercised military justice authority over the Middle East and North Africa. Black also said that he was a Marine wounded in Vietnam
"Saudi Arabia has called on Americans to attack Iran on their behalf. But I neither serve nor respect Saudi Arabia", the state senator from Virginia said. "No Iranian — and to my knowledge, no Shia Muslim — has ever committed a terror attack on American soil. It is Saudi Arabia, with its violent Wahhabi religious cult, that is the principal instigator of global terror".
"America elected you [Trump] to end wars of regime change and to lower tensions. Our nation is war-weary; there is no public support for a war against Iran. I am concerned that the Republican Party will suffer historic electoral losses in 2020 if we launch an attack on Iran… Please do not abandon your solemn commitment to America", Black concluded.
On 12 May, four oil tankers — including two Saudi vessels and a UAE-flagged ship — were targeted in an attack off of the UAE’s exclusive economic zone. Even though no one has claimed responsibility for the sabotage, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on 21 May that Iran could possibly be responsible for the attack.
Iranian officials have repeatedly said US allegations are designed to create a pretext for war.