Trump says always a chance of military action against Iran
LONDON (Reuters) – US President Donald Trump said he was prepared to talk to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani but that there was always a chance of U.S. military action against the Islamic Republic.
“So Iran is a place that was extremely hostile when I first came into office,” Trump told British television station ITV. “They were a terrorist nation number one in the world at that time and probably maybe are today.”
When asked if he thought he would need to take military action, he said: “There’s always a chance. Do I want to? No. I’d rather not. But there’s always a chance.”
He said, when asked, that he was prepared to talk to Rouhani: “Yeah of course. I would much rather talk.”
Republican, Democratic senators seek to block Trump Saudi arms sales
Republican and Democratic US senators said on Wednesday they would try to pass 22 separate joint resolutions that, if passed, would block President Donald Trump’s plan to complete $8 billion in military sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates without congressional review.
Backers said the introduction of the resolutions was intended to “protect and reaffirm Congress’ role of approving arms sales to foreign governments.”
The announcement followed furious rejection in Congress late last month of the Trump administration’s declaration that a growing threat from Iran was an emergency that forced it to sidestep lawmakers’ review of major arms deals and approve precision-guided munitions, aircraft engines, mortars and other equipment and services for Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Lebanon.
“We are taking this step today to show that we will not stand idly by and allow the President or the Secretary of State to further erode Congressional review and oversight of arm sales,” Senator Bob Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said.
The effort was led by Menendez, and Republican Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally who is also a critic of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.
Members of Congress had been blocking sales of offensive military equipment to Saudi Arabia and the UAE for months, angry about the huge civilian toll from their air campaign in Yemen, as well as rights abuses such as the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate in Turkey.
“While I understand that Saudi Arabia is a strategic ally, the behavior of (Saudi Crown Prince) Mohammed bin Salman cannot be ignored. Now is not the time to do business as usual with Saudi Arabia,” Graham said in a statement.
Graham said he expected “strong bipartisan support” for the resolutions.