Rand Paul: Trump Told Me He ‘Shares My Thoughts’ on Avoiding ‘Ground War’ with Iran

Tobias Hoonhout

Following President Trump’s Wednesday speech on deescalating tensions with Iran, Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) said the president had personally expressed his desire to avoid another protracted Middle East war.

“The President shares my thoughts that the last thing we need is another ground war,” Paul wrote on Twitter. “He doesn’t want endless wars. I continue to hope for de-escalation and diplomacy.”

In his Wednesday speech, Trump declared that “Iran appears to be standing down,” and that barring further Iranian aggression, a deescalation could occur.

“The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it,” Trump said.

Ever since news of the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani last week, Paul — a longtime critic of Middle East intervention — had voiced his concerns.

Paul suggested in a long thread on Twitter Friday that the move could further destabilize the region, and pointed to the Iraq War as evidence.

“President Trump viscerally understands that the toppling of Saddam Hussein made Iran stronger,” Paul wrote. “Soleimani, like Hussein, was an evil man who ordered the killing of Americans. Yet, the question remains, whether his death will lead to more instability in the Middle East or less.”

On Tuesday, Paul ramped up his rhetoric, telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that Soleimani’s death was “the death of diplomacy with Iran.”

“I don’t see an off-ramp. I don’t see a way out of this,” Paul stated. “ . . . You’d have to be brain-dead to believe that we tear up the agreement, we put an embargo on you and we kill your major general, and they’re just going to crawl back to the table and say, ‘What do you want, America?’”

More from National Review