McConnell: America Must Give Iran No Reason to Misjudge Our Resolve
‘I’m grateful our U.S. military has already taken prudent steps to improve the posture of our forces so they are ready to defend our servicemembers, military vessels, and diplomatic facilities and deter attacks by Iran or its proxies across the region. Nobody wants conflict with Iran. We’ve heard clearly from the president and his senior advisors that the administration’s objective is to deter Iran from engaging in threatening acts that increase the risk of such a conflict.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the growing threat of Iranian aggression:
“Monday, of course, is Memorial Day. Americans will take time out of our ordinary routines and busy lives to remember the men and women who have paid the ultimate price for the security of our nation and the liberty we cherish. We mourn every young American whose sacrifice has furthered the cause of our founding ideals. And we acknowledge in a special way the gold star families they leave behind -- the parents, spouses, and children whose grief is only matched by the thanks of a grateful nation.
“As President Reagan said one Memorial Day across the river at Arlington, ‘Today is the day we put aside to remember fallen heroes – and to pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again.’ And so, while this day is a day for honoring and remembering in particular our fallen heroes, it is natural that our thoughts also turn to the brave men and women who are currently serving.
“I am thinking of the servicemen and women who are defending our country overseas. And especially those engaged in combat in Afghanistan and Syria, all those stationed across the Middle East who are threatened by Iran, and those holding the line in Asia against threats from North Korea. We are tremendously grateful for our military’s continuous efforts these last 18 years to keep America safe from terrorism, and their ongoing work to combat al Qaeda, fight ISIS, and help stabilize Afghanistan.
“Of course, I’m particularly mindful of the members of the Kentucky National Guard and the many soldiers of Kentucky-based active duty units who are deployed in harm’s way. And in light of recent intelligence, we are also keenly aware of the critical role our military is playing – at this very moment – to deter Iranian aggression. The administration engaged Members of Congress earlier this week to brief us on the growing threat and detail the steps the administration is taking to address it.
“I’m grateful our U.S. military has already taken prudent steps to improve the posture of our forces so they are ready to defend our servicemembers, military vessels, and diplomatic facilities and deter attacks by Iran or its proxies across the region. Nobody wants conflict with Iran. We’ve heard clearly from the president and his senior advisors that the administration’s objective is to deter Iran from engaging in threatening acts that increase the risk of such a conflict.
“We all know that, particularly when dealing with hostile actors, peace is a function of strength. So it is essential that, even amid other partisan political disagreements, we remain one unified nation. America must give Iran no reason to misjudge our resolve. Whatever disputes my colleagues may have with the administration about other issues, I hope we can avoid politicizing any differences about this particular threat and work together to keep America safe.
“I also want to mention, the American diplomats who are also hard at work overseas. We know that many of them, too, are stationed in harm’s way – as we remember from repeated Iranian-backed attacks over many years on our embassy in Baghdad, or the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi, Libya. We are grateful for the talent and the hard work they deploy, often hand in hand with our military, to advance American interests, preserve peace, prevent miscalculation, and deter conflict. I know I speak for all my colleagues when I say I hope their efforts are heeded.”
Related Issues: National Security, Iran