Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders tweeted on Saturday that he is introducing a bill to prevent US President Donald Trump from “illegally taking us to war against Iran”. The White House has yet to comement on the matter.
Sanders' statement comes after Qasem Soleimani, the commander who led Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)’ elite Quds Force, was killed in a US drone strike near the Iraqi capital Baghdad, an attack that was authorised by Trump.
I am introducing a bill with Rep. Khanna to stop Donald Trump from illegally taking us to war against Iran.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 4, 2020
It's working-class kids who will have to fight and die in a disastrous new Middle East conflict—not the children of billionaires. https://t.co/H6ZHjijCnj
Sanders added that he had compiled the document jointly with Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna, co-chair of Sanders's 2020 presidential campaign, who in turn warned of “a dangerous escalation” that he claimed brings the US “closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East”.
“A war with Iran could cost countless lives and trillions of more dollars - and lead to even more deaths, more conflict, [and] more displacement in that already highly volatile region of the world”, he pointed out on his Twitter page.
Khanna also said that their bill blocks the Pentagon’s attempts to inject funds in “any unilateral actions this president takes to wage war against Iran without Congressional authorization”.
“We must invest in the needs of the American people, not spend trillions more on endless wars”, he underscored.
US Congress Was Not Notified of Strike on Soleimani, House Panel Says
The remarks followed US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel stating on Friday that an airstrike that killed Soleimani “went forward with no notification or consultation with Congress”.
Engel stressed that “to push ahead with an action of this gravity without involving Congress raises serious legal problems and is an affront to Congress's powers as a coequal branch of government”.
He spoke after Trump told a news conference at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida that the US military “terminated” Soleimani in an attempt “to stop a war, not to start one”.
Trump described Soleimani as “the number one terrorist anywhere in the world” which is allegedly responsible for “plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel”.
....of PROTESTERS killed in Iran itself. While Iran will never be able to properly admit it, Soleimani was both hated and feared within the country. They are not nearly as saddened as the leaders will let the outside world believe. He should have been taken out many years ago!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2020
He made the comments as CNN cited sources as saying that the US had approved the deployment of between 3,000 and 3,500 additional troops to the Middle East in the wake of Soleimani’s murder.
Iran Denounces US Killing of Soleimani
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have both condemned the killing of the high-ranking IRGC commander and vowed to retaliate against the US action, which they described as a "terrible crime" and an act of "international terrorism".
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, for his part, stated that the assassination of Soleimani would only strengthen the resistance against the US presence in the Middle East.
Earlier on Friday, a US drone reportedly fired an advanced Hellfire missile at a car transporting Soleimani from Baghdad International Airport.
The general, who is believed to have been one of the most prominent figures in the Islamic Republic, was killed in the blast, along with two senior members of Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Mohammed Ridha Jabri.