Feb 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

White House threatens to veto Iran war powers resolution

Demonstrators protesting the U.S. drone attack that killed Iran's Qasem Soleimani, Washington, D.C., Jan. 4.

The White House on Wednesday threatened to veto a resolution making its way through Congress that would curb President Trump's ability to direct military action against Iran without congressional authorization.

Driving the news: The Senate is now holding debates on the resolution after a majority voted 51-45 to advance the measure. Eight Republicans joined Democrats in voting in favor of it, signaling the measure could pass with bipartisan support.

What they're saying: The White House argues the bill "fails to account for present reality," since it was introduced on Jan. 9 "in response to an escalating series of attacks" by Iran.

  • The White House argues "there have been no further uses of force between Iran and the United States. In fact, deterrence has been re-established."
  • The bill "should be rejected because it attempts to hinder the President’s ability to protect United States diplomats, forces, allies, and partners, including Israel, from the continued threat posed by Iran and its proxies," the White House stated.

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Senate votes to curb Trump's war powers against Iran

Sens. Mike Lee (L) and Bernie Sanders. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Senate voted 55-45 on Thursday in favor of a war powers resolution curbing President Trump's ability to launch military action against Iran without congressional authorization.

Why it matters: It's a bipartisan rebuke of the president's foreign policy that passed even after the White House threatened to veto the resolution.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 13, 2020 - Politics & Policy

No "imminent" threat cited in White House letter on killing Qasem Soleimani

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announces new sanctions on Iran on Jan. 10. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump authorized killing top Iranian general Qasem Solemani in response to "an escalating series" of Iran-backed attacks on U.S. forces in the Middle East in previous months and to deter future Iranian attacks, the White House asserted to Congress on Friday.

Why it matters: The official reason for killing Soleimani contradicts the administration's original claim that Trump authorized the strike to disrupt an "imminent" attack against Americans in the Middle East.

Iran space program fails to put satellite into orbit

Photo: Xinhua/Li Muzi via Getty Images

A rocket launched by Iran's space program on Sunday failed to reach the speed necessary to get its Zafar 1 communications satellite into orbit, AP reports.

Why it matters: It's the latest disappointment for a program that the U.S. claims is in violation of a UN security resolution that calls on Iran to refrain from building ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

Go deeperArrowFeb 9, 2020 - Science