To Avoid Repeating Catastrophic Mistake of Iraq Invasion, Senate Bill Would Forbid Attack on Iran Without Congressional Approval

With National Security Adviser John Bolton threatening to “come after” Iran this week and President Donald Trump accusing the country of sowing “chaos, death, and destruction,” Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) was joined Wednesday by several other members of the Democratic caucus in urging Congress to ensure that the U.S. avoids yet another prolonged war by passing legislation affirming that a preemptive attack on the country would be illegal.

The Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act of 2018 demands that the president obtain congressional approval for any military action in Iran. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) signed on as co-sponsors.

“Every day, the president and his saber-rattling foreign policy advisers like John Bolton are inching us closer and closer to conflict, endangering our national security, jeopardizing our diplomatic interests and alarming our allies.” —Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.)

“The administration’s approach to Iran is ripped straight out of the same playbook that launched us into the failed invasion of Iraq, and Congress needs to assert its constitutional authority and halt the march to war,” said Udall. “Every day, the president and his saber-rattling foreign policy advisors like John Bolton are inching us closer and closer to conflict, endangering our national security, jeopardizing our diplomatic interests and alarming our allies. The consequences of war with Iran would be catastrophic, risking the lives of thousands of Americans while squandering our global reputation, with little chance of improving our long-term security.”

The bill was introduced a day after Bolton told a gathering of anti-Iran activists that there would be “hell to pay” if Tehran “crossed” the U.S. or its allies.

Anti-war advocates praised Udall’s proposal, especially in light of the president’s numerous aggressive military actions in foreign countries since he entered office less than two years ago.

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