Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Representative Ted Deutch, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism, today announced that the Department of State has replied to their request earlier this week to produce information on the Department’s legal analysis of the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force as they relate to military action against Iran

The lawmakers issued the following statement:

“We had hoped that the State Department would affirm what we consider abundantly clear: the 2001 and 2002 war authorizations do not apply to military action against Iran. The Administration appears to acknowledge that generally, based on the facts that exist today, but the reply we received includes a loophole wide enough to drive a tank through. The Administration claims that the President could use these authorizations to attack Iran in defense of any third party he designates as a partner. These war authorizations have already been stretched farther than Congress ever intended, and we reject this attempt to stretch them further. To repeat what we said in our letter, Congress has not authorized the use of force against Iran under any legal theory.  We are also concerned that the Administration opened the door to reinterpreting its position in the future. We’re going to push for more information on the Department’s legal theory surrounding these matters, and should the Administration’s view of these issues change, they must notify Congress immediately.”

The State Department’s reply can be found here.

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