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Ross: Is the USA starting ‘a peace’ with Iran?

People wearing caricature masks of Iranian Supreme leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani participate in a rally hosted by The Organization of Iranian-American Communities in Freedom Plaza March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

According to everything I hear from the White House, we are definitely not trying to start a war with Iran. We are trying to start a peace.

That’s why we pulled out of the Iran nuclear agreement even though Iran never violated that agreement. That’s why we cut Iran off from the world financial system and punished countries still buying Iran’s oil.

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That is why we have an aircraft carrier patrolling off the Iranian coast — all to insure peace.  And yet despite all this peacemaking, Iran is apparently getting more belligerent.

So I asked Congressman Adam Smith, who chairs the House Armed Services committee – is there any chance that our attempts to wage peace by tanking the Iranian economy could actually have the opposite effect? He said that very same question had crossed his mind.

“And believe me, I understand Iran is a bad actor,” he said. “That doesn’t mean that pushing them to the brink and starting another war is in our best interest.”

So Congressman Smith put the question to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“His only answer was we want Iran to stop the bad behavior they’re doing in the region,” Smith recalled. “(And I asked him) Well, have they stopped? No…”

Which brings us to the central dilemma of this approach to peacemaking: as Americans we know we’re the good guys, and would never shoot first. But what if the other side doesn’t know that?

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