Preventing a New War With Iran

UPDATE

Next week (the week of July 8), Congress will vote on an amendment from Reps. Ro Khanna and Matt Gaetz to stop Trump from unilaterally starting a war with Iran. It's time for Congress to take action and stop Trump's march to war: call your Members of Congress (MoCs) and tell them to co-sponsor the Khanna/Gaetz amendment!

Call Your Representatives Now!

Trump and his war cabinet want a war with Iran. But under the Constitution, Congress is the only one that has the authority to allow Trump to authorize military action, including in Iran—tell your MoCs to co-sponsor the Khanna/Gaetz amendment, which would block Trump from taking military action against Iran!

Get the Call Script

Tensions with Iran are quickly escalating, and Donald Trump and his war cabinet seem to be itching for a new war. 

Iran has admitted to shooting down a US drone, following closely on its announcement that it will violate a portion of the nuclear deal. This all comes soon after attacks on oil tankers in international waters, for which the administration blames Iran.

But let’s be clear: a war with Iran would be costly and deadly and would do nothing to address these recent problems. Additionally, the Trump administration has contributed to these escalations with its own long string of provocations.

Members of Congress must do everything they can to prevent a new war with Iran and to instead encourage diplomacy.

How We Got Here

First, the Trump administration violated the Iran nuclear deal. Even though international inspectors certified that Iran was complying with its end of the bargain, even though it successfully kept us safer, and even though some of our closest allies urged Trump not to do so, Trump pulled out of the deal. This destroyed the best mechanism for blocking Iran’s access to nuclear weapons, and a framework on which to build with more talks.

Then, they mounted an Iraq War-style campaign to prime the public. There’s a reason the run-up to a new war with Iran feels very similar to the previous run-up to the Iraq War. It’s because it’s being led by the same person. John Bolton, Trump’s bloodthirsty National Security Advisor, has been a champion for an Iran War for decades and is leading the effort to spread fear and misinformation about Iran.

Next, they appear to be trying to provoke a reaction from Iran. Trump and Bolton have dialed up the escalations to a 10. They’ve labeled a branch of Iran’s armed forces as a terrorist organization (the first time the US has ever used this label on a state military entity), threatened to punish allies who import Iranian oil, and ramped up military deployments to the region in what Bolton called a “clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime” in response to secret, ill-defined “threats.” Trump has tweeted genocidal threats of an “end to Iran,” sent 1,000 more troops to the region, and doubled down on military activity all over the region in the name of “countering Iran.”

For those who recall the lead-in to the Iraq War, this all probably feels pretty familiar. But history must not repeat itself. It’s essential that Congress use its powers to stop this march to war.

What Can Congress Do?

Each Member of Congress must speak up now. The voices who want a new war with Iran are speaking very loudly. Congress must use their platform and issue statements immediately, stating the obvious truth that Congress has not authorized any military force against Iran, that there’s no military solution to the problems at hand, and urging the administration to choose diplomacy over war.

Co-sponsor bills to deny Trump a new war. It’s Congress, and not the President, who decides when and where to go to war. Members of Congress must publicly pledge not to vote to give Trump the congressional authority to take military action in Iran. In the meantime, they can co-sponsor legislation to explicitly deny the administration such authorization (H.R. 2354 in the House and S. 1039 in the Senate) and repeal current “blank check” war authority that Trump could wrongly use to justify a new war (H.R. 1274 in the House).

Fight to include war prevention in must-pass bills. Fight to include war prevention in must-pass bills. Congress is working its way through a series of appropriations and authorization bills that are guaranteed to pass both chambers of Congress. These pose ideal vehicles on which to attach the bills mentioned above that could help prevent a new war with Iran. Members of Congress should commit to vote in favor of amendments on these must-pass bills that would deauthorize or defund war with Iran. For example, the week of July 8 the House will likely vote on an amendment from Reps. Ro Khanna and Matt Gaetz to stop Trump from unilaterally starting a war with Iran. Your Representative should co-sponsor and vote yes on this amendment!

Call Your Senators Now!