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70+ US Army & Navy veterans urge Trump to stop Iran war-mongering, stick to diplomacy

70+ US Army & Navy veterans urge Trump to stop Iran war-mongering, stick to diplomacy
An open letter signed by 76 retired generals, admirals, and ambassadors calls on US President Donald Trump to stop stoking fears of war with Iran and ditch “ineffective” sanctions and threats in favor of “aggressive diplomacy.”

In a letter published on Friday by ‘War on the Rocks’, which specializes in reports on national security and defense issues, former US military top brass made an urgent plea to Trump to avoid further escalation with Iran and turn to diplomacy, rather than setting the stage for confrontation with military reinforcements.

They argue that the ongoing exchange of harsh statements between Tehran and Washington as well as the deployment of a US carrier strike group and B-52 bombers to the Middle East, along with claims that Iran is plotting an attack on Americans, are “highly concerning and make for a potentially deadly confrontation.”

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While Washington insists that its massive build-up in the region can be credited for deterring Iran from taking bold action, the veterans say that both countries are to blame for creating uncertainty by “taking actions the other views as dangerously provocative at best and the beginning of forceful action at worst.”

Instead of trading verbal blows with Iran and flexing military muscle, the US government should explore diplomatic means of breaking the deadlock rather than dragging the US into a shooting war with potentially disastrous consequences, they said.

A war with Iran, either by choice or miscalculation, would produce dramatic repercussions in an already destabilized Middle East and drag the United States into another armed conflict at immense financial, human, and geopolitical cost.

In advocating a peaceful resolution of the conflict, the signees pointed out that threats to use force and crippling economic sanctions, the two most favored tools in the Trump administration’s playbook on Iran, have been vastly “ineffective” and have so far only strengthened Tehran’s resolve.

READ MORE: Pompeo confirms $8.1bn arms sales to Arab nations without Congress approval to 'deter Iran'

To avoid a disastrous all-out war, Washington should do away with saber-rattling so it can engage in “common-sense diplomacy” and establish direct communication between US and Iranian elites.

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Trump seemingly took pride in refuting media reports that Washington seeks to engage in talks with Iran to defuse tension, insisting that the ball is in Iran’s court. 

While both Tehran and Washington have downplayed the chances of a military confrontation, the White House keeps inflating the supposed Iran menace, sending an additional 1,500 troops to the region. On Friday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cited the need “to deter Iran aggression” for sidestepping Congress and clearing $8.1 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan. 

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