U.S. Sen. Rick Scott said President Donald Trump now has to decide whether to respond to the latest missile barrage from Iran.
Iran launched a series of ballistic missiles at two Iraqi military bases housing U.S. soldiers early Wednesday — Tuesday in Florida. The attack was the latest escalation in tensions between Iran and the U.S. since an American airstrike killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Speaking Tuesday to Fox Business’ Trish Regan, the Senator said Iran would be smart to discontinue attacks against the U.S. Despite his decision to kill the General, Trump does not want war, Scott said.
“I know that he’s going to stand up for American troops and is going to do everything he can to prevent a war and to prevent harm to American troops,” Scott said. “If he comes to the conclusion that the right thing to do is to hit Iranian targets tonight to stop more risk for our troops, he’s going to do it.”
“He’s going to make the same type of decision he made with Soleimani,” he added. “He’s going to do whatever it takes to stop attacks on American citizens and American military-men and women.”
Iranian state TV said the attack was retaliation for Soleimani’s death. Iran initially announced only one strike, but U.S. officials confirmed both.
The attack caused few, if any casualties, a U.S. official said.
While foreign allies and both Republicans and Democrats have criticized Trump’s decision to kill Soleimani, Scott still backs the President. The state’s freshman Senator and former Governor serves on the U.S. Senate’s Homeland Security Committee.
“Clearly President Donald Trump, by killing Soleimani, said the United States is not going to tolerate an attack on our troops, and he did the right thing,” Scott said. “I’m very concerned about our military men and women that are in harm’s way right now and I hope that Iran comes to the conclusion that they’ve got to stop this.”
“They have a choice. They can be a part of the world community and prosper, or they can go up against the mighty American military and they’re going to lose,” Scott said.
Tensions between the two longtime foes have risen since Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal and reinstated sanctions. Scott said the move cut Iran’s funding for Hezbollah and Hamas, and now the Ayatollah is trying to retain power.
“The way to go after these thugs is you have to go after their pocketbook, and when they don’t have the money to do all these bad deeds — we’re not doing the Obama appeasement where we give them money. We’re saying you attack our troops, you’re going to suffer the consequences and we’re going to make sure that you don’t have the money to continue to do all the bad things you want to do around the world,” Scott said.
Trump tweeted late Tuesday that he will make a statement on the Iranian attack Wednesday morning.
Adding to the chaos, a Ukrainian airplane with 176 people crashed after takeoff just outside Tehran on Wednesday morning, killing all on board, Iranian state TV and Ukrainian officials said.
The Boeing 737-800 had taken off from Imam Khomeini International Airport, bound for the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, and mechanical issues were suspected. The plane carried 167 passengers and nine crew members from different nations. Ukraine’s foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko, said there were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians on board — the Ukrainian nationals included two passengers and the nine crew. The rest were Swedish, Afghan, German and British nationals.