WASHINGTON, DC - Today, after President Trump ordered a strike near the Baghdad airport, killing Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement:

“Soleimani’s direction of Iranian-sponsored terrorism has come to an end.  His end is the beginning of a much more challenging and dangerous confrontation between the United States and Iran.

“Rather than achieving the stated intent of deterring additional attacks by Iran, I am concerned the Trump Administration significantly increased the likelihood for direct conflict, and, with it, the risks to Americans and our national interests. 

“Killing Soleimani in this manner strengthens the hardliners in Iran and increases the likelihood that Iran’s proxies will be triggered into action.  And if his killing results in America abandoning the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, it will be a coup for the Iranians.

“President Trump failed to consult with Congress.  Now he must provide the American people, Congress, and the international community a thoughtful plan for what comes next.  Our troops and diplomats deserve a strategy that is worthy of their sacrifice. 

“War with Iran is not inevitable.  Now is the time for restraint, diplomacy, and engagement.  President Trump should choose that path rather than lurching into another disastrous military conflict in the Middle East.”