NIAC Urges That U.S. and Iran Practice Restraint as Tensions Escalate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, June 20, 2019
CONTACT: Mana Mostatabi | 202.386.6325 x103 | mmostatabi@niacouncil.org

Washington DC – Following Iran’s downing of a U.S. drone, the Trump Administration, flanked by National Security Council Advisor John Bolton, are reportedly exploring retaliatory measures the U.S. could take, including military options.

In response to the latest escalations between the two countries, NIAC President Jamal Abdi issued the following statement:

“At every fork in the road with Iran, Trump has allowed warmongers like John Bolton to direct his Iran policy. This has brought the United States to the precipice of a war that Trump claims he wanted to avoid. This administration needs to take a step back and dramatically rethink it’s Iran policy, and the officials guiding that policy, before it is too late. Moreover, Congress needs to step in and make clear that Trump does not have authorization to start a new war

“There is still time for Trump to defuse tensions with Iran and put to rest this manufactured crisis. Rather than opt for the military options that Bolton will undoubtedly propose, Trump should seek out third party mediators who can help de-escalate and bring the U.S. and Iran back to the negotiating table. Moreover, the UN Security Council should convene in order to ascertain the facts behind the crisis, including the allegations surrounding the recent tanker attacks and the downed U.S. drones, and chart out exit ramps for both the U.S. and Iran.

“Both Trump and his inner circle and Iran’s leadership should recognize that the U.S. and Iran have entered an escalation spiral. Adding fuel to the fire risks stoking this crisis to the point of no return. For the United States, any military retaliation is likely to be matched in kind by Iran. For Iran, any provocations risk further isolating the country and giving fodder to warhawks who won’t stop at a few retaliatory strikes.

“The night is always darkest before the dawn. We urge all leaders to put their countries’ best interests in mind and firmly step away from the path to war.”

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