Stabenow: Trump sending 'the wrong message' to Iran | Michigan Radio

Stabenow: Trump sending 'the wrong message' to Iran

Jun 21, 2019

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) at the grand opening of a new headquarters of a Defense Department contractor in Romeo
Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) says the Trump administration is not “thinking through the consequences” of its action against Iran.

This week, President Donald Trump announced he canceled a military strike on Iranian targets in retaliation for Iran shooting down a U.S. drone.

President Trump says the U.S. was "cocked and loaded" to retaliate against Iran for downing an American drone, but canceled the strikes 10 minutes before they were to be carried out after being told some 150 people could die.

President Donald Trump says he called off a planned retaliatory strike on Iran after deciding the likely death toll on the ground wouldn't be "proportionate" to the shoot down of a U.S. drone.

The president also says he never gave a final order for the operation, and that U.S. military airplanes were not yet in the air but that they would have been "pretty soon." Stabenow worries the president is sending mixed signals.

“I think it does at best send confusion, if not the wrong message,” she says. “I think a lot of actions are being taken without thinking through the consequences of this and what the reaction will be.”

Stabenow blames President Trump for creating the current tension with Iran, after backing out of a multi-national nuclear treaty with the Islamic Republic.

Meanwhile, the head of the Revolutionary Guard's aerospace division says a manned U.S. spy plane was near the drone it shot down but Iran chose not to target it.

Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh made the comment Friday at a news conference attended by The Associated Press in Tehran.

The Guard shot down a U.S. Navy RQ-4A Global Hawk on Thursday.

Hajizadeh said: "At the same moment, another spy aircraft called a P8 was flying close to this drone. That aircraft is manned and has around 35 crew members. Well, we could have targeted that plane, it was our right to do so, and yes it was American, but we didn't do it. We hit the unmanned aircraft."

German Chancellor Angel Merkel says European countries are still hoping that there can be a political solution to the tensions between the United States and Iran.

Merkel told reporters in Brussels on Friday that European governments' foreign policy advisers had met on the sidelines of a European Council meeting to discuss the tensions in the region.

She says "naturally we are worried about the situation and we're counting on diplomatic negotiations for a political solution to a very tense situation."

The U.N. says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' message to the United States and Iran is to avoid anything that would escalate the current tense situation and "to have nerves of steel."

 U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters at U.N. headquarters Friday that "the secretary-general firmly believes in the need for dialogue between the parties involved as probably the best way to defuse tension and to avoid any escalation."

Dujarric said the U.N. has been in contact with the parties at various levels and is passing the same message in public and it is in private, "which is to avoid any escalation."

Dujarric announced that Guterres will be attending the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, next week but said he didn't know yet if the secretary-general would meet there with U.S. President Donald Trump.