Hurd says Democrats, media are being manipulated by Iran

Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdHouse Democrats launch effort to register minority voters in key districts Hurd says Democrats, media are being manipulated by Iran Bottom Line MORE (R-Texas) argued that Democrats and the media are being manipulated by the Iranian government in an op-ed published Wednesday that defended President Trump’s decision to kill a top Iranian commander in a drone strike last week.

Hurd said taking out Gen. Qassem Soleimani was an “appropriate response” to Iran’s actions toward the U.S. over the past few months. 

“Soleimani was not going through the Baghdad airport on the way to a holiday vacation. He was in Iraq to coordinate attacks on American interests and our allies,” Hurd wrote in the op-ed published in the Washington Examiner

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“To my colleagues condemning this decision: We cannot forget that Iran is the culprit, not the victim,” he added. 

Hurd said that members of Congress, Democratic presidential candidates and the “Western media” have all been manipulated by Iran. 

Democrats have widely condemned Trump’s decision to kill Soleimani, but many have been careful to stress that their issues stem from concerns about potential consequences that could place Americans at risk and not over mourning the death of Soleimani. 

Hurd wrote that "the Iranian regime," not the U.S., is responsible for the escalating tensions with Iran.

“I also want to ask my colleagues condemning the decision to kill Soleimani: What is the alternative?,” Hurd wrote. “Do nothing and fail to protect American lives and our shared interests with our Sunni Arab and Israeli partners? Let our embassy get attacked once more? Open our troops up to further attacks? To not support the Iranian people in their quest for freedom?”

“The U.S. should not and cannot deal with Iran alone,” Hurd added. “I hope now that the Iranian regime has made it clear that it will enrich uranium without any limits, violating the terms of the Iran nuclear deal, and our European partners will work with us to reinstate snap-back sanctions and treat the ayatollahs as the pariahs they are.”

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Following the strike that killed Soleimani, Iran said it would roll back its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal. Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018 in a move that critics have claimed increased tensions between Washington and Tehran.

Hurd, who has broken from Trump in the past and is not seeking reelection in 2020, also offered a mild criticism of some of Trump’s comments on the situation. 

He said that the U.S. should not bomb cultural sites, a threat Trump made in a tweet following the strike that killed Soleimani. 

The Trump administration is briefing Congress on the situation with Iran on Wednesday.

Democrats criticized the administration for not briefing top members until after the attack was carried out. 

On Tuesday, Iran launched more than a dozen missiles targeting “at least” two Iraqi military bases where U.S. troops and their allies were present, according to the Pentagon. No Americans were killed in the attacks.

Trump signaled he was moving toward sanctions against Tehran instead of further military force in an address to the nation late Wednesday morning. In his speech, he also said that Iran “appears to be standing down.”

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