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Pompeo: This Iran Thing Isn't Our Fault

The secretary of state also calls the current conflict 'a war'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2020 2:30 PM CST

(Newser) – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hit the Sunday talk-show circuit and blamed the entire Iran crisis on former President Obama, USA Today reports. "We're trying to correct for what was the Obama administration's appeasement of Iran," Pompeo said on ABC News' This Week, after President Trump ordered the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, sparking protests in Iran and threats of retaliation. "This is a regime that has been acting against America for an awfully long time. And we are suffering from eight years of neglect and we’re trying to push it back. We're trying to contain them." Appearing on CNN's State of the Union, he referred to the current conflict as a "war," saying "this war kicked off" when Obama and the European Union signed its nuclear deal with Iran. For more:

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  • 'BS': "This is BS from Pompeo," tweeted former Obama adviser Ben Rhodes. "This isn’t a 'both sides argue' issue, it's about facts: Iran was complying with deal that rolled back nuke program and there were 0 rocket attacks on US interests in Iraq during that time. Trump pulled out and Iran resumed nuke program and rocket attacks."
  • 'Endless war': "I really worry that the actions the president took will get us into what he calls another 'endless war' in the Middle East," said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) on This Week, per the Washington Post. "He promised we wouldn’t have that. And I think we’re closer to that now because of his actions."
  • 'Act of war': "Let's not mince words: the assassination of Qasem Soleimani was an act of war undertaken without Congressional authorization," write Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Barbara Lee (D-Texas) in a statement, per KSTP. "...We in Congress must exercise our Constitutional duty—and do everything in our power to stop another disastrous war."
  • In his defense: Trump "is not saying, 'Congress, I need 100,000 American troops to invade Iran.' That’s why all this talk about war powers and congressional authority is so silly," said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) on CBS's Face the Nation, per the Sun-Sentinel. "The president’s not talking about invading Iran. He's talking about responding to anything Iran may do in the future."
  • More Pompeo: "Endless wars are the direct result of weakness," Pompeo said on Fox News Sunday, per RealClearPolitics. "And President Trump will never let that happen. We're going to get it right."
(Read more Iran stories.)

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