Congressional leaders are increasingly giving a resounding “no” to potential coordination with Iran in responding to the growing crisis in Iraq, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi saying on Thursday that she would be opposed to such a move.
“I’m not one who’s interested in working with Iran on this. I think you have to be open where you can get support, but I don’t have the confidence level,” Pelosi told reporters at her weekly press conference in the Capitol. “Right now, we’re trying to stop Iran from having a nuclear weapon — that can’t happen.”
Just the day before, House Speaker John Boehner told reporters that the United States should “absolutely not” work with the government in Tehran to quell the sectarian turmoil in the neighboring Middle East nation.
The Obama administration had signaled an openness to work with Iran, a majority Shiite country, earlier in the week, with Secretary of State John Kerry telling YahooNews, “We’re open to discussions if there is something constructive that can be contributed by Iran, if Iran is prepared to do something that is going to respect the integrity and sovereignty of Iraq and ability of the government to reform.” When pressed on whether that could include military operations, Kerry responded, “At this moment, I think we need to go step-by-step and see what in fact might be a reality. But I wouldn’t rule out anything that would be constructive to providing real stability.”
Administration officials attempted to walk that statement back, particularly in light of ongoing negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, by foreclosing the possibility of military coordination and emphasizing that such contact between the two nations would be informal and limited.
Pelosi said that Iran and Iraq, which were involved in a bloody war in the 1980s, had served as a check on each other. Iran is “free and clear because we took out their main check,” Pelosi said. “So I’m not one who would be in a hurry to have a conversation with Iran.”
What We're Following See More »
"A federal judge has found a witness in contempt for refusing to testify before the grand jury hearing evidence in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell made the ruling Friday after a sealed hearing to discuss Andrew Miller’s refusal to appear before the grand jury. Miller is a former aide to longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone."
Paul Manafort's former business partner Rick Gates said in court today that "he conspired with Manafort to falsify Manafort’s tax returns. Gates said he and Manafort knowingly failed to report foreign bank accounts and had failed to register Manafort as a foreign agent."
On the first day of Paul Manafort's trial Tuesday, prosecutors accused "Manafort of failing to pay taxes on millions of dollars he earned working for a pro-Russia political candidate in Ukraine and using the money to fund a lavish lifestyle, including purchasing a $15,000 jacket 'made from an ostrich.' Manafort’s defense sought to place the blame on his former business partner, Richard Gates, who they said embezzled money from Manafort."