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Oklahoma senators: Iran was warned

Chris Casteel
In this file photo, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force, General Qassem Soleimani, attends celebrations marking the 37th anniversary of the Islamic revolution on February 11, 2016 in Tehran. The airstrike killed Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, the deputy head of Iraq’s Hashd al-Shaabi militia, and Qassem Soleimani, the popular commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force.

Oklahoma’s senators, responding to the U.S. killing of Iran’s top general, said the drone strike followed repeated warnings that the United States “will not tolerate Iran spilling American blood.”

However, both said the United States does not seek a war with Iran.

U.S. officials announced Thursday that Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Force, was killed by an airstrike near the Baghdad airport in Iraq.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, a Republican who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, said President Donald Trump “has been clear all along — the United States will not tolerate Iran spilling American blood, and (Thursday) he followed his words with action.

“The Quds Force, under the direction of Soleimani, is responsible for attacks that have killed hundreds of American and coalition service members. Last week, an Iranian proxy killed an American contractor, and this week, Iran’s proxies attacked our embassy and were actively targeting American diplomats and service members. Their actions were unacceptable — as are all actions that threaten Americans and our coalition partners.

“From al-Baghdadi to Soleimani, America’s adversaries should have no doubt that President Trump means what he says. America does not and should not seek war, but it will respond in kind to those who threaten our citizens, soldiers and friends — as the President has long promised. De-escalation is preferable and possible — but only if our adversaries choose it.”

U.S. Sen. James Lankford, a Republican, said, “For years, the Iranian regime has pursued a reckless strategy of intimidation, fear and aggression. Its acts of terrorism have destabilized the entire Middle East.

“As the leader of the Quds Force, General Soleimani has personally been responsible for killing US military and allied forces in Iraq, including a US contractor just last week. President Trump sent multiple, clear signals that there would be consequences if General Soleimani and his Quds Force killed another U.S. citizen and continued his pursuit of aggression in Iraq and the Middle East.

“No one wants a war with Iran or with the millions of peaceful Iranian people. Unfortunately, the Iranian regime has impoverished its people while pursuing brutal aggression throughout the Middle East. I pray for all of our military and foreign service personnel around the globe as they continue to keep our nation safe and secure.”