No 'hostilities' with Iran unless Congress approves: Pelosi
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No 'hostilities' with Iran unless Congress approves: Pelosi

“Hostilities must not be initiated without the approval of Congress.” Pelosi told reporters on Friday. She said she was not notified of President Donald Trump’s approval, then quick cancellation, of a strike on Iran. Media reports said Trump had agreed with a plan to strike 3 different Iranian sites, but he cancelled the attack just before initiation. “I did not receive any heads-up that there was a strike that was in the works,” Pelosi insisted.  Pelosi said when Congressional leaders went to the White House for a briefing on Thursday they left there with the notion that no decision had been made. “We left with the idea that the president was going to consider some options,” Pelosi told reporters on Friday. ‘Pelosi is not a voice of sanity’ Commenting on Pelosi’s statement, American journalist and political commentator Don DeBar said, “It's been 2 years since Pelosi engineered the passage of increased sanctions against Iran with a near unanimous vote of 419-3, a violation of the JCPOA which predates by a year Trump's pulling out of it.” “She is not a voice of sanity on the matter; rather, she is to the right of Trump,” he added. “Every Democrat in the House voted for those sanctions. Only 3 House Republicans voted no. And only 2 Senators - Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders - voted no,” DeBar said.  “Sanders isn't a Democrat - he's an independent. So ALL of the Congressional Democrats voted to increase the sanctions, and to expand them to cover missiles,” he noted.   The agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries -- the United States, the UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany -- in Vienna in 2015. Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran. However, President Trump pulled his country out of the JCPOA in May 2018 and re-imposed harsh sanctions against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticisms. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters after meeting Trump in the Situation Room on Thursday that lawmakers were worried about an escalation of conflict, insisting that Trump needed to obtain Congressional authorization before taking military action. After the meeting,Trump downplayed the shooting down of an intruding American spy drone by Iran, describing the incident as a "mistake". However, a Senior Republican lawmaker claimed Trump had already obtained Congressional authorization and needed to engage in hostile acts against Iran. Mike Rogers, the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, insisted the president did not need to seek further authorization from congress.  Rogers emphasized that Trump needed to retaliate the drone incident so other countries like China and North Korea would not dare to respond to US provocations. The drone incident was the latest in a chain of events around the Persian Gulf region which started after Washington upped the ante in its conflict with Iran by deploying additional troops, along with Patriot missiles and manned and unmanned spying aircraft, aircraft carriers, and  B-52 bombers to the Middle East over the past few weeks. Iran, in response, called on the US to stop instigating conflict in the region and pull its troops out of the Persian Gulf.  The Islamic Republic has repeatedly announced that Iran's military activities are solely for defensive purposes and posed no threat to other countries. Iran has recently made major breakthroughs in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing military equipment and hardware despite the sanctions and Western economic pressure slapped on the nation.

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