Congress passes resolution to restrain Trump on Iran | News | DW | 11.03.2020
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Congress passes resolution to restrain Trump on Iran

The US legislature has approved a resolution to limit Donald Trump's authority to launch military action against Iran. However, the president looks likely to be able to overrule them.

Both chambers of the US Congress on Wednesday gave final approval to a resolution to restrain President Donald Trump from attacking Iran. The vote comes after months of soaring tensions between the US and Iran.

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The House of Representatives voted 227-186 to join the Senate in support of the resolution. The measure would prevent any military action against Iran without Congress voting for it explicitly. However, the resolution is likely to be vetoed by Trump, due to the lack of a majority within the Democratic Party and divergent Republicans.

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Supporters of the measure say the resolution is not about Trump or even the presidency, but instead is an important reassertion of congressional power to declare war. 

The resolution "sends a clear message that American people don't want war with Iran and that Congress has not authorized war with Iran," said Rep. Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat and chairman of the House of Foreign Affairs Committee.

While tensions with Iran have abated since a US drone strike killed Iran's top military general, Qassem Soleimani in January, the resolution clarifying Congress' power to declare war is still important, he said. 

"Congress doesn't have to wait until the president alone decides to use military force again," Engel told house members on Wednesday. "It's our responsibility to do something, because we know the tensions could flare up again at a moment's notice. Iran has not been deterred as the administration promised."

Iran responded to the US attack on Soleimani by launching missiles at two military bases in Iraq that house American troops — an attack which caused traumatic brain injuries in more than 100 US soldiers. The resolution, which was earlier worded to not target Trump, now specifically directs Trump to terminate the use of military force against Iran.

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lc/rc (AP, AFP)