Democrats raise alarm over Trump’s increasing threats to Iran

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Donald Trump

The United States Democratic politicians are skeptical and concerned after receiving a closed door briefing from officials in Trump’s administration on Tuesday about increasing tensions in Iran.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan, Chairman of Joint Chiefs General Joseph Dunford and an official from the US Defence Intelligence Agency gave the briefing.

Pompeo who made a lengthy political argument said “Here are all the terrible things that Iran has done” as he spent about 10 minutes until I cut him off,” Representative Adam Smith, the Democrat chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told reporters after the briefing for House members.

“And as every member who stood up has said, ‘We know Iran is bad. What is the policy going forward?’ There wasn’t enough information on that,” Smith said.

Trump officials cast the discussion as the United States responding to provocations from Iran, but failed to mention President Donald Trump’s decision a year ago to withdraw from a nuclear agreement with Iran and Trump’s imposition of economic sanctions, according to members of Congress after the briefings.

“If this whole conversation is absent, if it doesn’t take into consideration what the administration is saying, that the administration keeps heightening tensions, then you a leaving something major out,” Representative Anna Eshoo, a Democrat, told Al Jazeera.

“There was an echo of years past,” Eshoo said.

The Trump officials presented their case as, “This is what we are finding. This is what we are trying to deter. But if we find something, then, of course, we would have to act because we’d have to respond,” she said.

Pompeo
Acting United States Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo give a statement after a closed-door briefing on Iran in the auditorium of the Capitol Visitors Center in Washington, DC [Mandel Ngan/AFP] 
The Trump administration has increased US military presence in the Gulf in response to what it said were threats from Iran.