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FOR THE WEEK OF JAN. 13, 2020

Military face-off between U.S. and Iran eases after action by each country

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Catch up on this topic and summarize what's new or developing.
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Share a sentence or two from an editorial, opinion column or reader letter about how the president is handling relations with Iran.
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Look for the voices of Iranian-Americans, or people in Iran, and pick a vivid quote.

After tense days when a new Middle East war seemed possible, a significant confrontation between the United States and Iran has been averted – for now, at least. Tensions between the longtime enemies escalated Jan. 3 when an American drone ambush authorized by President Trump killed Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani and a top aide as they arrived in Baghdad, the capital of neighboring Iraq. Soleimani (pronounced SOLE-eye-mah-KNEE) was an architect of many deadly attacks against Americans, Iranian protesters and Arab neighbors.

Iran retaliated four days later by lobbing a dozen missiles at two bases hosting U.S. troops in Iraq -- the first time it directly targeted American military positions during four decades of confrontation. The armaments missed areas where troops were located. "We suffered no casualties, all of our soldiers are safe, and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases," Trump said in a televised address. He didn't make further military threats and added: "Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world." Iran's foreign minister confirmed that it doesn’t intend additional attacks. "Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense," he tweeted. "We do not seek escalation or war."

In Washington, the House last Thursday voted 224-194 in favor of a resolution to limit Trump's ability to take further military action against Iran – a symbolic move because the Republican-controlled Senate is unlikely to go along. "It's frankly just restating what the Constitution says about who declares war," says Rep. Elissa Slotkin, the measure's sponsor. The Michigan Democrat, a Mideast policy specialist who worked in the CIA and Pentagon, adds: "This is the responsibility of this body, to provide oversight into how we put our young people into conflict." Backers also included Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a Trump ally who says: "Engaging in another forever war in the Middle East would be the wrong decision."

President says: "American strength, both military and economic, is the best deterrent." – Televised speech Jan. 8 from White House

House speaker says: "America and the world cannot afford war." – Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Washington journalist says: "President Trump became a wartime leader at the dawn of an election year, and the contours of his ever-changing presidency have again shifted." – Jake Sherman, Politico.com

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2020
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