Portman to the People of Iran: “We Are With You”

January 14, 2020 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Today on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) delivered remarks regarding the Trump administration’s recent actions in response to repeated aggressive actions by the government of Iran. He applauded the administration’s actions and voiced his support for the Iranian people by saying that America’s argument is not with them, but with their oppressive government.  

Last week, Portman delivered remarks on the Senate floor supporting the administration’s actions and stated that Iranian aggression must not go unchecked. President Trump authorized the killing of Qasem Soleimani, the leader of Quds force and the Islamic Republican Guard Corps earlier this month. Soleimani was responsible for the killing of more than 600 American soldiers and the wounding of several thousand more.

A transcript of his remarks can be found below, and a video can be found here.

“Soleimani was a recognized terrorist, not just by the Trump administration but by the global community, including the Obama administration, the United Nations, and the two organizations which he headed were both considered terrorist organizations.

“He was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of our constituents and thousands more who were maimed and injured. So when I have been at these briefings, I’m sort of getting a different briefing than apparently some of my colleagues are. The briefings have been very explicit about the degree to which this particular individual had already attacked and killed so many Americans and that, in fact, there were more plans, of course, in the future. That’s why he was traveling around the Middle East meeting with other commanders, including the commander of the Islamic militia group in Iraq that very day.

“So I think this is a time for us, as my colleague from Oklahoma has said, to be sober and to be realistic about the great threat that he posed to us. And not just in this administration but in previous administrations. And now talk about a way forward avoiding war with Iran but also making sure that Iran is held accountable.

“The people of Iran, to them I say today, we are with you but we understand the fact that your country is one where your own rights have been repressed, and you have not had the ability to achieve your dreams, and we would want that for you as well. Our arguments are not with you. They’re with the government of Iran.”