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"We're On The Precipice Of War" DeFazio Calls For Stronger War Powers Act

Rachael McDonald

After a U.S. drone strike killed a top Iranian general last week, Oregon Democratic Representative Peter DeFazio said the country is on the precipice of war with Iran. He is seeking to limit President Trump’s war powers.

DeFazio said he has long pushed to strengthen the War Powers Act to make it harder for the president to take military action without Congressional approval. After the killing of general Quassem Soleimani, Iran vowed revenge against the United States.

“I think this was a reckless and impulsive act by the president of the United States, rejected by his two predecessors because of the extraordinary aftermath that would happen.”

DeFazio said Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement, brokered by President Obama, means the country is again working to develop a nuclear bomb.

“When President Obama negotiated that, Iran was less than six months from having a nuclear weapon.” DeFazio said, “After that was successfully implemented, they were two years away. Now, Trump tore up the agreement 18 months ago. They’re probably pretty close to having a nuclear agreement again.”

DeFazio said the U.S. would have only Israel as an ally if it were to attack Iran.

“And that is really a bad place for the United States to be in.”

He said for quite some time Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu has wanted to attack Iran. DeFazio believes there would be massive civilian casualties if the U.S. were to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.He said those who fear war with Iran should be out in the streets protesting.

“See the protests in the middle east over the killing of Soleimani where hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq and in Iran and elsewhere turned out? Well we need hundreds of thousands of people to turn out here in the United States and protest the idea of going to war with Iran.”

DeFazio said he hopes the White House will share their information with Congress on what threats the Iranian general posed to the U.S.

Meanwhile, DeFazio said he expects to meet with the Democratic caucus in the House this week to discuss sending articles of impeachment to the Senate. 

Copyright 2020 KLCC.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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