McConnell: Trump Is Not Trying to Start War With Iran


President Donald Trump is not trying to start a war with Iran, but his administration’s sanctions are squeezing the Middle Eastern country “very hard” and it is reacting, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday.

“We’re squeezing them very hard with sanctions, which the Treasury Department has done an excellent job of pursuing,” the Kentucky Republican told Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.” “That is why you see them striking out with these attacks on vessels in the Persian Gulf. The sanctions are really hurting.”

However, Trump has “made it clear to everybody” that he isn’t trying to start a war with Iran, said McConnell.

“These are measured responses to the Iranians acting out the way they always act out in the Middle East, either directly or through surrogate groups killing people,” McConnell said. “I mean, they manufactured the IEDs that killed or maimed an awful lot of Americans during the Iraq War.”

McConnell added that he believes Trump made the right decision pulling out of the JCPOA nuclear deal reached under former President Barack Obama, as “it wasn’t much of a deal.”

The Senate leader’s comments followed news Monday that in the next 10 days, Iran will break the uranium stockpile limit that was set in the nuclear deal, according to Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the country’s atomic agency. He also warned that Iran could enrich uranium by up to 20%, just shy of levels for weapons-grade materials.

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