In the wake of President Trump declaring that US incursion in the middle east under his two predecessors’ Presidencies was a huge mistake, Senator Rand Paul warned that a conflict with Iran would constitute an even bigger mistake.
“You know, I’m for less troops in the Middle East. I think it’s a mistake to keep ramping things up,”Paul, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, stated.
“One of the things I like about President Trump is that he said the Iraq War was a mistake. I think an Iran war would be even a bigger mistake than the Iraq War. We lost over 4,000 soldiers over there. I don’t think we need to get involved in another war.” Paul added.
“Iran is really not someone that we depend on for oil. The Middle East, in fact, we don’t depend on for oil anymore. And so no, I think it’d be a mistake to get involved in another shooting war.” Paul continued.
The Senator also urged that Congress needs to be involved in the process of approval when it comes to military action.
“The Constitution is very clear that we don’t go to war unless it’s voted on by Congress,” Paul said, adding “The declaration of war is required to be voted on by Congress.”
“Now if a ship is shooting at you, you can return fire. You can defend yourselves. But to go and retaliate and say, ‘oh we’re going to blow up one of their naval ships or we’re going to drop a bomb on Tehran,’ … No, those are completely wrong-headed and unconstitutional ideas.” Paul urged.
The Senator warned that there are greater problems facing the US in the middle east than Iran.
“What a lot of people don’t get out of this and don’t examine this thoughtfully is that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf allies around Saudi Arabia spent eight times more on the military than Iran does. Saudi Arabia is the third biggest purchaser of weapons in the world,” Paul said.
The Senator has long opposed the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia, urging President Trump to curtail the process.
“I don’t think Saudi Arabia is all of the sudden going to be overrun by Iran if we don’t sell more weapons to them, and neither do I think Iran is going to be overrun by Saudi Arabia. I think there’s somewhat of a standoff between the two and a counterbalance.” Paul noted.
“But I think just continuing to dump arms into this cauldron is fueling an arms race and particularly nuclear technology.” The Senator added.
“If Saudi Arabia should misuse nuclear technology, Iran will quickly follow … So if you had three regional powers all within about a couple hundred miles of each other with nuclear weapons, I think that would be the worst disaster any of us could imagine.” Paul concluded.