Senator Scott on President Trump’s Remarks

WASHINGTON—Today, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) released the following statement in regards to President Trump’s remarks on the escalating tensions between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran: 

“The United States will always defend American lives facing threats and attacks. For far too long, we’ve allowed Iran to escalate their provocations on our armed forces and allies without repercussion. Those days are over.

“Iran’s belligerent aggression is well-documented and their continued actions proved they were not going to back down. I commend President Trump, as well as our Defense Department, National Security Council, and intelligence community for their decisive and calculated actions to keep Americans safe.”

Summary of recent Iranian Aggressions:

  • On May 12-13, four oil tankers—two Saudi, one Emirati, and one Norwegian ship—were damaged. Iran denied involvement, but a Defense Department (DOD) official on May 24, 2019, attributed the tanker attacks to the IRGC.
  • On June 13, 2019, two Saudi tankers in the Gulf of Oman were attacked. Secretary of State Pompeo stated, “It is the assessment of the U.S. government that Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today.”
  • On June 20, 2019, Iran shot down an unmanned aerial surveillance aircraft near the Strait of Hormuz, claiming it had entered Iranian airspace over the Gulf of Oman. U.S. Central Command officials stated that the drone was over international waters.
  • In addition to direct Iranian action Iran’s allies in the region have been conducting attacks that could be linked to U.S.-Iran tensions.
    • On May 19, 2019 a rocket was fired into the secure “Green Zone” in Baghdad. Iran-backed Iraqi militias were widely suspected of the firing and U.S. Defense Department officials attributed it to Iran.
    • In June 2019 and subsequently, the Iranian-backed Houthis claimed responsibility for the large-scale attack on Saudi energy infrastructure on September 14, 2019.
    • In a June 13, 2019, statement, Secretary of State Pompeo asserted Iranian responsibility for a May 31, 2019, car bombing in Afghanistan that wounded four U.S. military personnel. Administration reports have asserted that Iran is providing materiel support to some Taliban militants.
  • On December 27, 2019, Iran launched a rocket attack on a base near Kirkuk, that killed a U.S. contractor and wounded four U.S. service members and two Iraqi service members.
  • On December 31, 2019, supporters of Kata’ib Hezbollah and other Iran-backed Iraqi militias surrounded the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, forcing their way in and setting some outer buildings on fire.