Chu: Trump Should Brief Congress on Iran Policy

Rep. Judy Chu was critical of President Trump’s overall Iran strategy in the wake of the Jan. 3 U.S. missile strike that killed a top Iranian general.
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Rep. Judy Chu — fearing that the recent U.S. missile strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Suleimani could cause this country to be “dragged into a war nobody wants’’ — has called for President Trump to brief Congress on his overall Iran strategy before taking any further actions.

While calling Suleimani “an enemy of the U.S. and of peace,’’ Chu quickly issued a statement following the Jan. 3 strike in Baghdad, calling for restraint and “sober leadership.”

Chu called on the president to brief Congress because, she said, Trump has “failed to articulate a strategy for Iran outside of fostering conflict.’’   

The strike prompted Iran to swiftly issue threats of retaliation against U.S. targets —  and Tuesday the country did launch missile attacks on two air bases in neighboring Iraq where U.S. troops were housed.

“This escalation in tension is deeply troubling,’’ said Chu, whose 27th District includes South Pasadena.

“Since entering office and tearing up the Iran nuclear deal, President Trump has failed to articulate a strategy for Iran outside of fostering conflict. Even his maximum pressure campaign was designed to undo the gains made through diplomacy, and in response we have watched Iran resume their nuclear programs, attack U.S. interests, and increase their influence across the Middle East.

“There is no denying that Gen. Suleimani was an enemy of the U.S. and of peace, with the blood of thousands on his hands. But it is not clear how his killing will change Iran’s behavior. Nor is it clear how the president plans to respond to a likely retaliation from Iran.’’

Chu went on to say, “Without sober leadership, we could be dragged into a war nobody wants. That is why the president must brief Congress on his Iran policy before taking any further actions.

“Further, Congress must reclaim our authority to declare war with legislation to prevent the president from starting a war with Iran without Congressional approval.”

On Thursday, Chu also voted in favor of House Resolution 83, “to terminate the use of U.S. Armed Forces to engage in hostilities in or against Iran, unless approved by Congress.’’ The Democrat-controlled House passed the resolution in accordance with the War Powers Resolution of 1973.