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President Trump on War With Iran: ‘I Hope Not’

President Trump said Thursday that he hopes the United States will not go to war with Iran. Trump was asked by reporters if the White House is planning a confrontation with Iran, to which the president responded: “I hope not.” The question comes amid concerns that the U.S. is preparing for military action in Iran. Three days ago Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented a plan to top national-security aides that would potentially send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran attacks U.S. forces. It is unclear if Trump supports the plan. “Different opinions are expressed and I make a decisive and final decision—it is a very simple process,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday. “All sides, views, and policies are covered. I’m sure that Iran will want to talk soon.”

More concrete plans for Iran are a set of robust new sanctions against the country. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have urged Trump not to escalate tensions in the region through military action or sanctions. “The responsibility in the Constitution is for Congress to declare war,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said. “So I hope that the president’s advisers recognize that they have no authorization to go forward in any way.”