US lawmakers commented on Thursday night on the elimination of Qassem Soleimani, head of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), in a US drone strike near the Baghdad International Airport in Iraq.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) wrote in a post on Twitter, “Major blow to Iranian regime that has American blood on its hands. Soleimani was one of the most ruthless and vicious members of the Ayatollah's regime. He had American blood on his hands.”
“To the Iranian government: if you want more, you will get more,” he continued. “If you want to stay in the oil business leave America and our allies alone and stop being the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.”
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) welcomed the elimination of Soleimani.
“The end of Qasem Soleimani is welcome and long-overdue justice for the thousands of Americans killed or wounded by his Iranian-controlled forces across the Middle East, and for the hundreds of thousands of Syrians and Iraqi Sunnis ethnically cleansed by his militias,” he tweeted, adding, “It is also long-overdue justice for our Israeli allies who have suffered decades of terrorism at the hands of Hezbollah terrorists commanded by his IRGC Quds Force.”
“The message to all those who mean harm to America is loud and clear,” added Cruz.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said, “Soleimani was a terrorist. President Trump and our brave servicemembers just reminded Iran—and the world—that we will not let attacks against Americans go unpunished.”
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) tweeted, “Facing repeated IRGC attacks the U.S. & the President exercised admirable restraint while setting clear red lines & the consequences for crossing them. Iran’s Quds Force chose the path of escalation. They are entirely to blame for bringing about the dangerous moment now before us.”
“The defensive actions the U.S. has taken against Iran & its proxies are consistent with clear warnings they have received. They chose to ignore these warnings because they believed the President was constrained from acting by our domestic political divisions. They badly miscalculated,” added Rubio.
Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) criticized the Trump administration for eliminating Soleimani without Congressional approval.
“Soleimani was an enemy of the United States. That’s not a question. The question is this - as reports suggest, did America just assassinate, without any congressional authorization, the second most powerful person in Iran, knowingly setting off a potential massive regional war?” he tweeted.
In a second tweet, Murphy wrote, “The justification for the assassination is to ‘deter future Iranian attacks’. One reason we don’t generally assassinate foreign political officials is the belief that such action will get more, not less, Americans killed. That should be our real, pressing and grave worry tonight.”
Former US Vice President and Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden criticized the move as well.
"Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox, and he owes the American people an explanation of the strategy and plan to keep safe our troops and embassy personnel, our people and our interests, both here at home & abroad, & our partners throughout the region," he said.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), another Democratic presidential hopeful, was also critical of the move.
“Soleimani was a murderer, responsible for the deaths of thousands, including hundreds of Americans. But this reckless move escalates the situation with Iran and increases the likelihood of more deaths and new Middle East conflict. Our priority must be to avoid another costly war,” she tweeted.