Preventing a New War With Iran

UPDATE

Congress has a major opportunity to block Trump from going to war with Iran. Representatives Ro Khanna (D-CA-17) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL-1) have crafted an amendment that would block funds for an unauthorized strike on Iran. This amendment is currently in consideration to be included in the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and is supported by bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate. This is Congress’ best chance to prevent a new war with Iran, and time is of the essence. Call your members of Congress today and tell them to support the Khanna-Gaetz amendment to the NDAA!

Call Your Representatives Now!

Trump wants 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 seems to be itching for a new war. 

Tensions are escalating, and once again Trump appears to be on the brink of starting a new war with Iran. After an attack on a Saudi oil installation, Trump tweeted that the U.S. is “locked and loaded” and waiting for instructions from Saudi Arabia. This comes just months after the administration was reportedly minutes away from a military strike on Iran. The administration is already blaming Iran for the attack without presenting clear evidence. Houthi rebels in Yemen, perhaps in retaliation for the Saudi-led, U.S.-supported strikes there, have already claimed credit.

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 been led until recently by the same person. John Bolton, Trump’s bloodthirsty former National Security Advisor, has been a champion for an Iran War for decades and launched the effort to spread fear and misinformation about Iran that continues today.

Next, they appear to be trying to provoke a reaction from Iran. Trump's administration has 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.”

Don’t forget the role of the war in Yemen. Additionally, in an act of defiance, this administration continues to fuel and support the Saudi-led war in Yemen against Houthi rebels receiving support from Iran. This bloody war is unconstitutional and is further destabilizing the region and making a new war directly with Iran more likely.

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. 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 voice their support for inclusion of language to  deauthorize or defund war with Iran into these must-pass bills.

A key opportunity is an amendment by Representatives Ro Khanna (D-CA-17) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL-1) that would block funds for an unauthorized strike on Iran. This amendment is currently in consideration to be included in the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act, and is supported by bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate. This is Congress’ best chance to prevent a new war with Iran, and time is of the essence.