Tom Cotton to Joe Biden: Obama ‘Super-Charged’ Iran Terror Support 

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) speak to the media during a news conference on Capitol Hill, February 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. Cotton along with David Perdue (R-GA) unveiled immigration legislation they say is aimed at cutting the number of green cards issued annually by the U.S. in half. (Photo by …
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) took issue with former Vice President Joe Biden’s categorization of U.S. President Donald Trump’s Iran strategy as a “self-inflicted disaster” Thursday, hours after an Iranian missile shot down an American Navy drone over the Strait of Hormuz.

In a statement disseminated on Twitter, Sen. Cotton declared: 

[Biden’s] statement on Iran shoot-down of US aircraft conveniently omits how he & Barack Obama gave Iran billions in sanctions relief & pallets of cash, super-charging Iran’s support for terrorism & imperial ambitions. By contrast, [President Trump] has crippled Iran’s economy.

On Thursday, the 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful, Biden, indicated that Trump’s decision to pull out of the controversial 2015 nuclear deal between U.S.-led world powers and Tehran is to blame for the risk of “military conflict” with U.S.-designated state-sponsor of terrorism Iran. 

In a statement posted on Twitter Thursday, Biden argued: 

President Trump’s Iran strategy is a self-inflicted disaster. Two of America’s vital interests in the Middle East are preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and securing a stable energy supply through the Strait of Hormuz. Trump is failing on both counts.

He later added: 

He unilaterally withdrew from the hard-won nuclear agreement that the Obama-Biden Administration negotiated to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Trump promised that abandoning the deal and imposing sanctions would stop Iran’s aggression in the region.

By walking away from diplomacy, Trump has made military conflict more likely. Another war in the Middle East is the last thing we need.

 

Describing the act as a “message to America,” Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) admitted on Thursday it had shot down a U.S. “spy drone,” claiming it was flying over its territory. 

U.S. officials, however, said Iran shot the drone down over international waters and airspace in the Strait of Hormuz.  

Responding to the strikes on Thursday, President Trump wrote on Twitter, “Iran made a very big mistake!”

In a statement carried by the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), the IRGC declared: 

At the early hours of Thursday, the IRGC air force shot down an American spy drone…that had violated Iranian airspace in the Kuh Mubarak region located at Hormozgan province, south of the country.

U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) — charged with American military activity in the Middle East — said in a statement: 

[The drone] was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile system while operating in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz at approximately 11:35 p.m. GMT on June 19, 2019.

Iranian reports that the aircraft was over Iran are false.

This was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset in international airspace

In a speech carried live on Iranian state television soon after Washington and Tehran acknowledged the shooting down of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Gen. Hossein Salami, the commander of the IRGC, proclaimed that the destruction of the drone sent “a clear message” to the United States.

The IRGC commander reportedly added that crossing Iran’s border was “our red line,” according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.

Gen. Salami further said shooting down the drone was evidence of “how the Iranian nation deals with its enemies,” later adding: 

We are not going to get engaged in a war with any country, but we are fully prepared for war. Today’s incident was a clear sign of this precise message, so we are continuing our resistance.

This year, the Trump administration officially deemed the IRGC a foreign terrorist organization. Iran retaliated by designating CENTCOM as a terrorist organization.

Last week, U.S. officials accused Iran of firing a surface-to-air missile at a drone over the Gulf of Oman, on the same day Tehan attacked two tanker ships.

American officials also blamed Tehran for the assault on the tankers, as well as similar attacks in against four tankers near the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in May. Iran denies the accusations.

On Wednesday, a top U.S. State Department official told lawmakers that President Trump’s “unprecedented” sanctions campaign is “working,” adding that the restrictions have weakened Tehran and its proxies.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter on Thursday: 

The US wages #EconomicTerrorism on Iran, has conducted covert action against us & now encroaches on our territory. We don’t seek war, but will zealously defend our skies, land & waters. We’ll take this new aggression to #UN & show that the US is lying about international waters.

President Trump has approved the deployment of an additional 2,500 American troops to the Middle East since the beginning of May. 

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