WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — On Thursday, Iran said it shot down a U.S. drone, which a U.S. official said was flying over international waters. Defense leaders called the attack irresponsible and unprovoked. President Trump told reporters he believed it was unintentional.
“I think that it could have been somebody who was loose and stupid that did it.”
The downed drone follows a recent attack on tankers. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Iran must be held accountable.
“I would encourage forceful action to stop this behavior before it leads to a wider conflict. Doing nothing has its own consequence,” said Sen. Graham (R-South Carolina).
But Democratic leaders note that tensions started to rise when the United State pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Deal. Senator Mark Warner said he wants to see world leaders return the the negotiation table.
“I worry that I don’t hear from the administration an organized plan on how we are going to involve our allies,” said Sen. Warner (D-Virginia).
Democrats are calling on the president to take steps to deescalate tensions with Iran.
“Iran needs to step back, and the U.S. needs to step back in their pressure campaign,” said Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia).
Senator Kaine wants assurance the president won’t go to war unless Congress approves. He’s proposing an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.
“No dollars can be used in a war against Iran unless Congress has a debate and authorizes war. So if the president thinks we should be engaged in military action he should bring that debate to Congress,” Kaine said.
This week the president announced plans to send additional troops to the Middle East, something he hopes shows Iran the U.S. doesn’t plan to back down.