The Senate’s ranking Democrat on Tuesday demanded the State Department brief the Foreign Relations Committee on the Trump administration’s escalating confrontation with Iran, saying the panel has been left in the dark on Tehran’s alleged “increased threats.” “For over a week now, we have been requesting a comprehensive briefing from appropriate, senior level, administration officials on exactly what these increased threats are, and whether there is consensus within our intelligence community and the broader national-security structure,” said Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) told reporters. “The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has jurisdiction over our nation’s foreign policy, and, critically over authorizing the use of military force. Full stop. I hope Chairman [James] Risch [R-ID] joins me in compelling the administration in a bipartisan manner to provide classified briefings and public hearings for the American people to better understand what is going on.”
“If Iran is responsible for targeted attacks on our service members stationed around the region or any of our national-security assets, we should of course respond appropriately and in a way that deters and prevents further assaults,” Menendez added. “But it is hard to justify the administration’s actions thus far since they insist on stonewalling Congress from receiving any specifics about what these increased threats actually are and our strategy to confront them. And regardless of what information might be made available, what’s clear is this is the moment for a diplomatic surge to bring Tehran back to the negotiating table and join our allies to get a successful conclusion to Iran’s nuclear ambitions.”
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