New Delhi: The US Congress on Thursday voted in favour of limiting President Donald Trump’s authority to initiate any further military action against Iran, even as an imminent threat of an all-out war between the two countries, over Trump-sanctioned killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike last Friday, came down rapidly. Also Read - US Officials Claim Iran Targeted Ukrainian Plane That Crashed Killing 176 Passengers
The move, introduced in the house by the Democrats, intends to reassert congressional authority over the use of force abroad. Also Read - Iran-US Tension: Rajnath Singh Discusses Security Concern With US Defence Secy Over Phone
However, the vote, which was passed 224-194 by the house, is largely symbolic as it still needs to be passed in the Senate, where it is likely to be taken up next week and also where Trump’s Republicans are in a majority. Even if passed by the Senate, Trump can still veto it, and the Congress is unlikely to muster enough votes to override the veto. Also Read - Iran-US Tension: ‘Closely Monitoring Matter, Want Situation to De-escalate Soon,’ Says MEA
Among those to have voted in favour of limiting Trump’s power were three of his Republicans colleague, as well as a Republican-turned-independent. However, eight Democrats voted against the resolution. The resolution was based on the War Powers Resolution 1973, which forbids a President from initiating war without the Congress’ approval. The Act, however, does allow the President to use force to defend against or prevent an ‘imminent’ attack on Americans.
Addressing the media after passing of the resolution, speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “Trump must de-escalate and must prevent further violence. America and the world cannot afford war.”
The development comes amid speculations that Iran may have accidentally shot down a Ukrainian passenger airliner, which crashed at the Tehran Airport on Wednesday. The crash was initially attributed to ‘technical failure.’