Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 28 September 2020

Donald Trump vetoes Congressional resolution blocking military action against Iran

US president defends air strike that killed Qassem Suleimani in January

As US President Donald Trump bids to get re-elected this year, his administration looks at its Iran strategy. AFP
As US President Donald Trump bids to get re-elected this year, his administration looks at its Iran strategy. AFP

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday vetoed a Congressional resolution that would have blocked American military action against Iran.

In his veto, Mr Trump called the resolution, which Congress passed in March, “very insulting” and insisted that the US “is not engaged in the use of force against Iran".

Congress passed the bill in March after the US killing of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard leader Qassem Suleimani in Iraq last January, and as tension escalated to the brink of armed confrontation between Tehran and Washington.

Mr Trump said the resolution would have harmed America's ability to protect itself and its allies.

Under the resolution, Congress would have to approve any military action in Iran.

It directed Mr Trump to stop using the US Armed Forces for hostilities against Iran, or any part of its government or military, unless authorised by a declaration of war or by Congressional approval.

"We live in a hostile world of evolving threats and the Constitution recognises that the President must be able to anticipate our adversaries' next moves and take swift and decisive action in response," he said after the veto.

The resolution passed with rare bipartisan support in Congress, as eight Republicans joined Democrats in the Senate approving it by 55-45 in February, then 227-186 in the House in March.

It was offered under the 1973 War Powers Act.

Tim Kaine, the Democratic Senator who sponsored the resolution, urged the Senate to override Mr Trump’s veto, which would require two thirds of the vote.

Tension continues to rise between US and Iran. Two weeks ago, Mr Trump instructed the US Navy to shoot and destroy "any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea".

Updated: May 7, 2020 02:49 AM

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