Pelosi warns Trump on unapproved move against Iran

June 22, 2019

TEHRAN – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump’s alleged decision to call off military strikes on Iran, emphasizing that U.S. military action against Iran "must not be initiated" without congressional approval.

Pelosi told reporters that she was not notified by officials of the president's decision on Thursday to approve the military strike when she and other congressional leaders went to the White House for a briefing that day, The Hill reported.

“We left with the idea that the president was going to consider some options,” Pelosi told reporters. “I did not receive any heads-up that there was a strike that was in the works.”

“Maybe the other leaders did on the Republican side, but I did not receive any of that,” she added.

Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) said on Thursday that Democrats told Trump in a Situation Room meeting that he needs to get congressional authorization before taking military action.

Trump said on Friday that officials had been "cocked and loaded" to retaliate against Iran after he learned an Iranian missile system shot down a U.S. military drone.

However, the president said he decided to call off the mission after he learned 150 Iranians would die as a result of the strike.

"We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone," Trump tweeted on Friday. 

Pelosi emphasized to the Trump administration in a statement that “hostilities must not be initiated without the approval of Congress.”

“During our meeting with the president at the White House, congressional leaders stressed the necessity that we work with our allies,” she said.

Iran shot down the unmanned U.S. aircraft on Thursday morning after it ignored repeated warnings by the Iranian military to leave Iran’s airspace. 

To prove that the drone had entered the Iranian airspace in the Strait of Hormuz, the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps on Friday put on display the wreckage of the drone. 

SP/PA

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