Dems say Trump showed he has no plan for Iran

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on June 23, 2019 - Duration: 01:58s

Dems say Trump showed he has no plan for Iran

The Democratic chairman of the House Armed Services Committee on Sunday told CBS News that last week's nearly-executed U.S. strike on Iran shows the White House has no strategy to get Tehran to the negotiating table.

Zachary Goelman reports.

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Dems say Trump showed he has no plan for Iran

U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to cancel a military strike on Iran is being met with rare approval from both Democrats and Republicans.

Last week Trump called off plans to hit Iranian targets after Tehran's Revolutionary Guards Corp shot down an unmanned and unarmed American surveillance drone in the Strait of Hormuz.

In the tense hours after the incident, Trump met with lawmakers from both parties to discuss a U.S. retaliatory strike.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) EXCHANGE BETWEEN CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT MARGARET BRENNAN AND HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN ADAM SMITH (D-WASHINGTON): BRENNAN: Were you surprised that it didn't happen?

SMITH: No.

Based on the conversation that we had it was very clear that the president was legitimately torn as to what the correct approach was in response.

[flash] (SOUNDBITE) (English) HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER MICHAEL MCCAUL (R-TEXAS), SAYING: "I know from that meeting that he has no appetite to go to war in Iran." Tensions with Iran have been climbing since Trump pulled the U.S. out of a multinational deal curbing Iran's nuclear program, and reimposed harsh sanctions on the middle eastern country.

The U.S. has blamed Iran for a series of recent attacks on international fuel tankers in the Gulf of Hormuz, which Iran denies.

Last week Iran shot down a navy drone, which Tehran claimed violated its airspace.

The U.S. says the aircraft was over international waters.

Trump over the weekend said he nixed a counter-strike when he learned it could kill as many as 150 people.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "I don't want to kill 150 Iranians.

I don't want to kill 150 of anything." Trump said he hoped he could reach a negotiated deal with Iran, and also pledged to impose new sanctions on Tehran on Monday.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT MARGARET BRENNAN, SAYING: "The bigger question here is, what is the strategy?" Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday said the White House was sending a firm message to Tehran.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE, SAYING: "Iran should not confuse American restraint with a lack of American resolve." But Democrats say the White House lacks a real plan.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN ADAM SMITH (D-WASHINGTON): "We do this 'maximum pressure' campaign to cripple the Iranian economy, to back them into a corner.

Where our own intelligence people told us, this is what Iran would do.

And yet even though we knew they were going to do it, we didn't know how to respond.

And it's not getting them to the negotiating table.

They're not there." Iran said it plans to ramp up its stockpile of enriched uranium to a level exceeding limits set by the 2015 nuclear deal as early as this week.

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