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McSally, Gallego believe de-escalating Iran conflict is best course of action

(AP Photos)

PHOENIX — Republican U.S. Sen. Martha McSally and Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona believe it is in the best interest of the United States to de-escalate its conflict with Iran.

McSally told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos in the Afternoon on Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s decision to not retaliate against Iran following two missile strikes on Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops earlier in the day gave Iran a path to downsize the conflict.

“The restraint shown by the president today was appropriate but shouldn’t be confused with weakness,” McSally said. “We’re in a position right now that an off-ramp has been offered to Iran.”

Gallego, unlike McSally, didn’t approve of Trump’s decision to authorize an attack against top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani last Friday, which ended in Soleimani’s death and led to the retaliatory missile strikes.

He was concerned about additional retaliation against U.S. forces, and that the attack could enrage a conflict that has been boiling for years.

Although no U.S. troops were injured or killed in the attacks, it was Iran’s most direct assault on America since the 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

“At this point, it looks like Iran is trying to deescalate it,” Gallego told KTAR News 92.3 FM. “I think the president should take that opportunity to de-escalate it and step away and potentially avoid a war.”

The Trump administration made its case on Capitol Hill for killing Soleimani, but Democrats said Wednesday’s classified briefings were short on details and left them wondering about the president’s next steps in the volatile Mideast.

Moving forward, Gallego wants to see a more concrete plan on how to deal with Iran.

McSally and Gallego are both concerned that Iran can’t be trusted to step away from the conflict.

“I do worry that we can’t fully trust that they are stepping away,” Gallego said of Iran. “I think our troops are still in danger.”

The Republican senator said the U.S. will remain on alert moving forward, even if the conflict between the two countries eases.

“Clearly nobody here is talking about going into major war with Iran. Nobody is doing that,” McSally said.

“What we’re doing is talking about stopping the maligned activities and the terrorist actions killing Americans in the region and looking for a different path.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Peter Samore and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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