Trump’s policy has made Iran stronger and U.S. weaker: senator

March 14, 2020 - 15:50

TEHRAN - U.S. Senator Chris Murphy has said that U.S. President Donald Trump’s policy has made Iran stronger and the United States weaker.

“Trump’s Iran policy has done nothing but make them stronger and America weaker,” he tweeted on Friday.

He also noted, “Time to change course.”

In another tweet, Murphy said that strike on Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani “was supposed to restore deterrence against Iran”, adding, “It didn’t.”

“The idea that killings another Iranian general will end the escalation is contradicted by the facts,” he added in his tweet.

On January 3, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered airstrikes that martyred General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), in Baghdad’s international airport.

In the early hours of January 8, the IRGC fired dozens of ballistic missiles at a military airbase hosting U.S. forces in Iraq as part of its promised “tough revenge” for the U.S. terrorist attack.
In an interview with NBC News on February 14, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Trump was misled to believe his country would get away with the assassination of Soleimani.
Trump believed that the assassination would augment U.S. security but it worked the other way around, Zarif said.

“Iran responded in a proportionate way against the base from which the operations against Soleimani were carried out,” said Zarif.

He explained that Iran’s retaliatory attack was intended to show to the United States that they cannot bully Iran and that actions against Iran will have repercussions.

The Pentagon announced on February 21 the total number of U.S. service members who suffered brain injuries in the strike on the airbase has increased to 110.

Wendy Sherman, the former undersecretary of state for political affairs who led the U.S. negotiating team that concluded the Iran nuclear agreement, has said that assassination of Soleimani was an extraordinary risk.

“I think the president took an extraordinary risk and I don’t think we’ve seen the end of that risk yet,” WUSF News quoted her as saying in a news conference before the Ringling College Library Association Town Hall lecture series.

She added, “After he [Soleimani] was murdered by the United States government, they [the Iranian people] were in the streets protesting America. That’s not in our national security interest.”

She said that the assassination of Soleimani and the subsequent retaliation by Iran against U.S troops in Iraq brought the two countries close to war.

Professor of Government and International Affairs at George Mason University Edward Rhodes has said that Iran’s retaliatory action against the assassination of Soleimani shows the Islamic Republic has the conventional forces necessary to make the continued U.S. presence in the region untenable.

In an interview with ILNA in February, Rhodes confirmed that Iran’s retaliation successfully conveyed two messages:  “The first is that Iran does not seek to provoke a war with the United States and the second is a reminder that Iran does indeed possess the conventional forces necessary to make the continued U.S. presence in the region untenable, and that it has the ability to force upon the United States a decision either to withdraw militarily from the region or to go to war against Iran.”

Rhodes added, “Certainly the Iranian people have legitimate grievances against the behavior of the U.S. government.”

Bassam Abu Abdullah, an expert on international relations at Damascus University, has said that assassination of General Soleimani was a “miscalculation” by the United States.

“They thought this action will lead to annihilation of the axis of resistance, but if we study response to this assassination, we will see that Washington miscalculated,” ISNA quoted Bassam Abu Abdullah as saying on February 23.

The professor said, “Iran targeted Ain al-Assad base and the United States kept silence while no country had targeted the United States’ military bases since World War Two.”

NA/PA

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