U.S. policy toward Iran is aimed at getting it to come to the negotiating table, and Washington does not want military action, America’s special envoy for Iran said Wednesday.
Brian Hook spoke at a House Foreign Affairs committee panel, where lawmakers questioned recent actions by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration towards Iran and if they were leading to war.
“No one should be uncertain about our desire for peace or our readiness to normalize relations should we reach a comprehensive deal,” Hook said.
In his opening statement, Hook said the administration wants to hit Tehran’s economy so it would come back to renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal.
On Monday, the Pentagon approved the deployment of an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East after commercial tankers in the Gulf of Oman were attacked. The U.S. blames Iran for the attacks.
Hook said the deployment was defensive and that the U.S. is “not looking for military action.”
Many in Congress fear the deployment, along with sanctions and increasingly heated rhetoric toward Iran, will ultimately lead to a military confrontation.
Congressmen asked Hook whether the Trump administration would use the Authorization for Use of Military Force law to bypass Congress and declare war on Iran.
The law passed in 2001 after the Sept. 11 and authorizes military action against anyone responsible for the attacks, as well as “associated forces.”
Hook avoided the question and responded by saying that “we will do everything we are required to do” and the administration will comply with the law.