Rep. Mark Takano Statement on Iran


Date: May 21, 2019
Location: Washington, DC

Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, released this statement following a bipartisan briefing on Iran and the current escalating tensions being provoked by President Trump and his administration:

"Today, I attended a bipartisan Congressional briefing on Iran with Secretary Mike Pompeo, Acting Secretary Mike Shanahan, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford. The purpose of this intelligence briefing was to provide Congress with a detailed update on the current state of affairs in Iran and its destabilizing activities in the Middle East. I remain very concerned about the way the President and his Administration are escalating tensions with Iran -- tweeting aggressive military threats that could lead to lethal engagement without authorization from Congress. The President has surrounded himself with war hawks like National Security Advisor John Bolton who has publicly stated his desire for regime change in Iran. The President has also pursued unilateral actions not supported by key allies. His withdrawal of diplomatic personnel from Iraq was not matched by our European partners.

"As Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, I'm aware of the high cost of war, its catastrophic effects, and the knowledge that decision-makers who take our country into war don't fully fathom the cost of taking care of our veterans. I am concerned that this Administration will lead us into war without Congressional authorization, which would be an overstep of Presidential power, and I have joined my colleagues in reiterating that the 2001 AUMF does not give the President the authority to start a war with Iran. I call upon the President and his advisors to dial down the provocative rhetoric and hostile activities that could be misinterpreted by Iranian leaders or some low-level Iranian commanders that will escalate into an unnecessary war."