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GOP lawmaker: New sanctions provide 'offramp' from rising US-Iran tensions

Rep. Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherReestablishing American prosperity by investing in the 'Badger Belt' Actors union blasts Democrat for criticizing GOP lawmaker's wife Federal commission issues recommendations for securing critical tech against Chinese threats MORE (R-Wis.) on Wednesday praised President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE for de-escalating tensions with Iran by focusing on sanctions instead of further hostilities.

“I think we’re going to go in the direction of increasing maximum economic pressure on the Iranian regime,” Gallagher, who is an Iraq War veteran and member of the House Armed Services Committee, told Hill.TV.

“When the dust settles, if what we’re left with is Trump has taken Qassem Soleimani off the battle field and the Iranians have done very little in response, that’s a massive win for the administration,” he added.

During an address to the nation on Wednesday morning, Trump said he would be imposing new “punishing” sanctions against Tehran following missile attacks on two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops.

“No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime,” Trump said before adding that Tehran “appears to be standing down.”

The president's comments come less than a week after he ordered an airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. The move was characterized as a defensive measure by the Trump administration, though Democrats have dismissed it as an unnecessary provocation.

“We must ensure the safety of our service members, including ending needless provocations from the Administration and demanding that Iran cease its violence," Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGovernors take heat for violating their own coronavirus restrictions Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation MORE (D-Calif.) said Tuesday night in a tweet following the Iran strike directed at U.S. troops.

—Tess Bonn