TEHRAN (Press Shia) – US Republican Senator Rand Paul told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that he has “no permission” to go to war with Iran.
Paul spoke directly to Pompeo during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday.
He asked Pompeo if the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which allowed for US troops to fight entities responsible for the 9/11 terror attacks and associated forces, included Iran.
Pompeo declined to directly answer the question, saying he would defer to lawyers, but claimed that there is “no doubt there’s a connection” between the Iranian government and al-Qaeda, according to a report by Politico.
“You do not have the permission of Congress to go to war with Iran,” Paul said, while chiding Pompeo for trying to deflect the question. “Only Congress can declare war.”
Pompeo was testifying before the Republican-controlled committee, a session that came the same week President Donald Trump designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a “terrorist” organization, prompting concerns about future clashes between the US and Iranian forces.
Last month, a Luxembourg court rejected a US request to compensate victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks by seizing Iranian assets, seven years after a New York court claimed there was evidence of Iran’s involvement in the incident.
The Luxembourg court said that there were no grounds in international law to uphold a US ruling in 2012 to claim Iranian assets held with Luxembourg-based clearing house Clearstream.
Back in 2012, a New York court claimed there was evidence to show that Iran provided “material support and resources” to al-Qaeda operatives that carried out the attacks.
The New York court awarded the plaintiffs damages of over $7 billion.
Iran has denied any links to al-Qaeda or any involvement in the 9/11 attacks.