President says he’s ‘locked and loaded’ to attack Iran
September 16, 2019
As President Trump warned that the US is “locked and loaded” to respond to the drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil supply this past weekend, Senator Rand Paul warned that hitting Iran would be a “big mistake.”
Appearing on CNN, Paul warned that any attack on Iran would constitute a “needless escalation” of war.
“The Iraq War, President Trump has said, was the biggest geopolitical blunder of the last generation,” Paul said.
“It destabilized the Middle East and increased the strength of Iran and tipped the balance toward Iran,” the Senator added.
Paul also had stern words for Rep. Liz Cheney, who earlier in the day proclaimed that the US should deny visas for Iranian diplomats at the United Nations General Assembly meeting this fall.
“There was nothing good about the Iraq war and Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney and John Bolton still don’t get it. They are still advocating for more regime change in the Middle East.” Paul declared.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared unequivocally Saturday that Iran is behind the attack:
We call on all nations to publicly and unequivocally condemn Iran’s attacks. The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 14, 2019 
President Trump tweeted Sunday that he is waiting to hear from Saudi Arabia on how to proceed.
Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2019 
Some warned that Trump’s words make conflict with Iran more likely:
“Locked and loaded”
And “waiting to hear from the kingdom”. Now MbS is boxed: if he doesn’t point to #Iran , he’s likely to dissapointing Trump, but he does, he could start an all-war with Tehran of unknown end | #OOTT  🇺🇸 🇸🇦 🇮🇷 ⛽️🛢 https://t.co/aYS6uWixGl 
— Javier Blas (@JavierBlas) September 15, 2019 
There is a cruel irony in all of this, given that only last week Iran was about to renew talks with the US following Trump’s ousting of John Bolton, who had long advocated for attacking Iran.