Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is backing the Trump administration's pressure campaign against Iran, in addition to recent decisions to bolster U.S. presence in the region.
"We know Tehran is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American servicemembers in Iraq and Afghanistan – Americans murdered by Iran’s proxies. So while it should be shocking that Iran is now conducting more attacks against civilian shipping vessels in international waters, unfortunately, it really isn’t all that shocking. This is the kind of behavior we’ve witnessed over the years. Until recently, the United States spent years failing to hold Iran sufficiently accountable for its terrorism, proxies, and ‘grey zone’ tactics. Tehran was emboldened to tread all over international law," McConnell said on the Senate floor Tuesday. "Tehran must not be rewarded for terror and intimidation. The United States and our partners need to stand firm and apply concerted, coordinated diplomatic and economic pressure until Tehran changes its behavior."
McConnell said President Trump doesn't seek conflict with Iran and neither does the Senate, but the U.S. will respond properly to violence from Iran and it's proxies. The Department of Defense announced yesterday 1000 U.S. troops will be deployed in the region in order to harden and protect American assets.
“I support these prudent efforts to respond to Iranian intimidation. Defensive military deployments will help us protect American interests in the region and deter Iranian aggression. I encourage the administration to continue working closely with our partners across the globe to encourage Iran’s leaders to cease their aggression. And I hope Iran’s leaders will listen to the demands of their people, who continue to protest against the stifling authoritarianism of the Islamic Republic, for a better, more prosperous, more peaceful life."
Meanwhile, the State Department offered briefings on the current situation with Iran to Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill. Democrats declined.
We’ve imposed the toughest sanctions ever on the Iranian regime. Our pressure is working. We'll continue this line of effort to convince Iran not to move forward with their nuclear program, development of missiles, & the other malign activities they've been engaged in globally. pic.twitter.com/lRJZTzfAHy— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) June 19, 2019