Chairman Risch to Iran: Deterrence Has Been Restored
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today warned Iran of the potential consequences of its actions during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on U.S. policy in the Middle East.
“I want to drill down very, very specifically on the outside chance that the Iranians are monitoring this. I want to say clearly, deterrence has been restored. Soleimani is dead. His replacement is a weak, weak substitute for Soleimani – he does not have the influence and he does not have the abilities to conduct the kind of warfare that Soleimani did.
“Since that happened, there have been no bombings of oil facilities as Iran did prior to that, there’s been no sabotaging of oil tankers, which they did prior to that, there’s been no shooting down of our drones.
“Most importantly, what’s happening on the ground in Iraq has changed dramatically. I’ve spoken directly with the military commanders on the ground and I’ve spoken with the policymakers in the administration, and they are laser-focused on this. There’s been no American killed.
“Let there be no mistake, Iran: If you wind up killing Americans in Iraq, there will be serious, serious consequences. That message was transmitted when Soleimani was taken out and killed. There will be consequences for that.
“Any suggestion that somehow we are backing away from that, any suggestion that somehow we are weakening on that, any suggestion that the military commanders on the ground are not dedicated to protecting American troops and doing what is necessary if indeed [Iranian attacks in Iraq] take the life of American citizens, American soldiers, American men and women in Iraq, there will be serious, serious consequences.
“What happened when Soleimani was taken out was a clear message: Iran, listen to that message, because it is meant to transmit what American determination is on the ground in Iraq.”
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