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Trump vetoes resolution limiting his powers to wage war on Iran

May 7, 2020 at 1:08 pm

US President Donald Trump speaks to the media during a cabinet meeting at the White House on 29 November 2017 in Washington, D.C. [Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images]

US President Donald Trump has vetoed a bipartisan resolution seeking to limit his powers to wage war on Iran, calling it “very insulting”.

In a statement yesterday, Trump said the measure was “based on misunderstandings of facts and law.” He swept away the bipartisan aspect of the resolution, saying that it was “introduced by Democrats as part of a strategy to win an election on November 3 by dividing the Republican Party.”

Voted on by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives in January and then passed by Congress in March, the resolution called for “the President to terminate the use of United States Armed Forces for hostilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran or any part of its government or military, unless explicitly authorized by a declaration of war or specific authorization for use of military force against Iran.”

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The president’s veto of the resolution comes four months after the US’ assassination of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani at the beginning of the year, which significantly raised tensions and the threat of a conflict between Washington and Tehran. Following the drone strike that killed Soleimani, Trump was accused by many in the US and the international community of attempting to start a conflict.

In his statement, the president said: “Contrary to the resolution, the United States is not engaged in the use of force against Iran. Four months ago, I took decisive action to eliminate Qassem Soleimani while he was in Iraq. Iran responded by launching a series of missiles at our forces stationed in Iraq. No one was killed by these attacks.”

Trump insisted that the strike “was fully authorized by law, including the Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iraq Resolution of 2002 and Article II of the Constitution.”  He outlined that the resolution states that his “constitutional authority to use military force is limited to defense of the United States and its forces against imminent attack. That is incorrect.”

He added: “We live in a hostile world of evolving threats, and the Constitution recognizes that the President must be able to anticipate our adversaries’ next moves and take swift and decisive action in response. That’s what I did!”

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