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Cotton: I hope Trump's statement 'got through' to Iran's leaders

Cotton: I hope Trump's statement 'got through' to Iran's leaders
© Greg Nash

Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonSenate mulls changes to .9 trillion coronavirus bill Trump seeks to cement hold on GOP Sunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues MORE (R-Ark.) said Sunday he hopes President TrumpDonald TrumpSacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Sorkin uses Abbie Hoffman quote to condemn Capitol violence: Democracy is 'something you do' Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress MORE's statement that the U.S. will not tolerate any attacks on American personnel "gets through to the leaders in Tehran."

He added, however, that he worries about Tehran's "long history" of stepping up aggression.
 
"I fear if Iran doesn't have firm set of boundaries drawn around its behavior, we're going to see an attack on U.S. ship or a U.S. manned aircraft," he said.
 
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Speaking to Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceWarner: White House should 'keep open additional sanctions' against Saudi crown prince Rick Scott acknowledges Biden 'absolutely' won fair election Bill Gates: Goal of eliminating emissions by 2030 'completely unrealistic' MORE on "Fox News Sunday," Cotton reiterated his support for a retaliatory strike against Iran, this time following the downing of a U.S. drone. Cotton last Sunday called for strikes following an attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman that the U.S. blamed on Iran.
 
"I think retaliatory strikes were warranted when talking about foreign vessels on the high seas and they are warranted against an unmanned U.S. aircraft," he said this week.

Cotton also said the U.S. could have "a different kind of relationship" with Iran if the nation turned away from its "campaign of terror throughout the region," but U.S. officials should maintain a "healthy skepticism."
 
"We should keep a maximum pressure campaign on them and give them the opportunity to act like a normal nation and seek relief in exchange for verifiable commitments," he said.
 
President Trump on Friday said he ordered a retaliatory strike against Iran but called it off after he learned the number of expected casualties. While he called the shooting down of the unmanned U.S. Navy surveillance drone a "very big mistake," he also indicated he was reluctant to escalate the situation because no Americans were killed.
 
The move came on the heels of increasing tensions between the U.S. and Iran that many have feared could lead to armed conflict. The president pulled out of the Obama-era nuclear deal that offered Tehran sanctions relief for limiting its nuclear program and the White has since imposed numerous sanctions.
 
Iran announced last week it would exceed the limit the deal placed on its stockpile of enriched uranium.