U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, responded to President Donald Trump’s remarks on Wednesday following Iran’s missile attack on American air bases in Iraq in retaliation for the targeting of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.
“President Trump’s decisive action took out a thug and known terrorist, Qassem Soleimani, and sent a clear, strong message to Iran: there are consequences for crossing a red line,” Ernst, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, said. “As someone who’s worn our nation’s uniform, and served as a company commander in Iraq, I’m confident in the capabilities of our military and intelligence personnel, and I commend them for their ongoing efforts in the region. While I’m hopeful Iran is choosing the smart path—for their own sake—by de-escalating, in the meantime we must continue our maximum pressure campaign against the Iranian regime and remain vigilant against the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.”
She also appeared on Fox Business Network and Fox News on Wednesday to discuss Trump’s “maximum pressure campaign” against Iran.
“I do happen to know of many individuals that have been maimed—we’ve seen them cross through Walter Reed, many of them will go to San Antonio to BAMC (Brooke Army Medical Center) there. General Soleimani has been involved in many of the IED incidents we have seen through Iraq. We know he has supported the proxy forces there, and in other countries as well. I have no qualms about that man being off the face of the planet,” Ernst said on Varney and Company on Fox Business Network discussing Soleimani’s death.
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On Outnumbered Overtime, Ernst discussed the U.S. strategy in the Middle East.
“What I want to do is lean forward a little bit and take a look at the strategy overall now in the Middle East. How we keep an eye on Iran, how we stop them from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and how we stop them from participating in other terrorist organizations and asymmetrical warfare,” she said.
“They have crossed the red line and the president responded…now we want to see where we go from here,” Ernst added.
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Ernst also joined the Hugh Hewitt Show on Thursday morning to discuss the briefing she received over the matter.
“I was very pleased with the information that we were presented. And of course, the briefers cannot tell us who gave them what information, and from where. You know, we certainly can’t identify sources out there. But it was very clear that they established a pattern of bad behavior coming from General Soleimani, and they indicated then that the intelligence they had gathered showed that he was going to continue escalating and killing Americans. And so without getting into the details, I felt that it was a very good briefing. It was very well done, and I feel very, very confident in the President’s actions and where we’re headed from here now looking into the future with Iran,” she said.
Ernst discussed the JCPOA with Hewitt as well.
“It is absolutely irrelevant. And I do believe we will be able to get Iran back to the table. I certainly hope that that is true, because the JCPOA, it really never was a binding agreement. Iran continued to act badly to their neighbors. They continued to, we believe they continued to develop nuclear capabilities, and it certainly was not, it wasn’t enforceable. So we have got to get Iran back to the table. We have got to stop them from acquiring those nuclear capabilities, and the President stated quite clearly he is not going to allow Iran to become a nuclear power,” she said.
Listen to the full interview here.