One of Iran’s top generals, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, was killed by U.S. airstrikes Thursday night in a move by President Donald Trump that has prompted vows for revenge from Iran as well as condemnation by Democratic presidential candidates, lawmakers and public figures back in the U.S.
Democratic presidential candidates came forward to condemn the Trump administration’s decision to launch strikes that killed Soleimani, the leader of the Quds Force unit of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), while he was traveling inside Iraq.
U.S. Senator for Minnesota and Democratic presidential nominee Amy Klobuchar echoed Murphy’s sentiment that Soleimani was an enemy of the U.S., while still condemning the strike.
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) January 3, 2020
“Qassem Soleimani was responsible for directing Iran’s destabilizing actions in Iraq, Syria and throughout the Middle East, including attacks against U.S. forces,” Klobuchar’s statement began. “But the timing, manner and potential consequences of the Administration’s actions raise serious questions and concerns about an escalating conflict.”
Klobuchar further called on the Trump administration to consult with Congress on its plan for preventing the recent strike from growing into a larger conflict.
Former Vice President and fellow Democratic 2020 presidential contender Joe Biden, whose work with the Obama administration included the now-defunct 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also suggested Soleimani “deserved to be brought to justice for crimes against American troops,” while still condemning the strike.
My statement on the killing of Qassem Soleimani. pic.twitter.com/4Q9tlLAYFB
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 3, 2020
Elizabeth Warren, another 2020 presidential contender, whose own brothers have served in the military, warned that the attack would put those service members and diplomats in the Middle East at heightened risk.
All three of my brothers served in uniform. I know the sacrifices we ask of them and their families. Trump’s actions put every service member and diplomat in the region at risk. This is a moment for vigilance—for Americans to speak up and speak out. No more Middle East wars.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 3, 2020
Other 2020 presidential contenders like Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders also shared their condemnations of the airstrike.
My statement on the killing of Qassim Suleimani. pic.twitter.com/DUCVczjNzm
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) January 3, 2020
“Trump’s dangerous escalation brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars,” Sanders tweeted. “Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one.”
Trump’s dangerous escalation brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars.
Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 3, 2020
On Friday, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted criticism to President Donald Trump’s order to carry out the strike against Soleimani, stating Trump had acted without proper authorization and without first consulting congress.
The Trump Admin has conducted strikes in Iraq targeting high-level Iranian military officials and killing Iranian Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani without an AUMF against Iran. Further, this action was taken without the consultation of the Congress.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 3, 2020
Pelosi described the strikes as a “provocative and disproportionate,” to Iran’s own actions in support of destructive pro-Iranian demonstrations held at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq earlier this week.
Those demonstrations were a response to past U.S. retaliatory strikes against pro-Iranian militias whose rocket attacks killed one U.S. contractor and wounded other coalition personnel in Iraq.
Pelosi also noted there is no Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF) for use against Iran.
Hollywood actors also joined the condemnation against the Trump administration. Robert De Niro, a regular critic of Trump, suggested the airstrike was a ploy by Trump to start a war to help his reelection.
“Our president will start a war with Iran because he has absolutely no ability to negotiate. He’s weak and he’s ineffective. So the only way he figures that he’s going to get reelected and is sure as you’re sitting there is to start a war with Iran.” https://t.co/9mkhkgrN8u pic.twitter.com/rAYocZjMew
— Robert De Niro (@RobertDeNiroUS) January 3, 2020
Actress Rose McGowan also went as far as to apologize to Iran for U.S. disrespect and said “We are being held hostage by a terrorist regime. We do not know how to escape. Please do not kill us.”
Dear #Iran, The USA has disrespected your country, your flag, your people. 52% of us humbly apologize. We want peace with your nation. We are being held hostage by a terrorist regime. We do not know how to escape. Please do not kill us. #Soleimani pic.twitter.com/YE54CqGCdr
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) January 3, 2020