Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a prominent foreign policy hawk, voiced confidence in a new interview that the U.S. could win a war with Iran, saying it would take “two strikes.”
“Yes, two strikes,” he told “Firing Line’s” Margaret Hoover when asked if the U.S. could win a war against Iran. “The first strike and the last strike.”
Cotton said that he would not advocate for a war with Iran but warned there would be a “furious response” to any provocation against U.S. interests in the region.
“I don’t advocate military action against Iran. I’m simply delivering the message that if Iran were to attack the United States it would be a grave miscalculation on their part and there would be a furious response,” he said.
The comments come amid escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran.
The already contentious relationship further deteriorated last week after the Trump administration announced a U.S. carrier strike group would head to the region in response to unspecified “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.”
The move was reportedly prompted in part by intelligence that Tehran gave permission to some of its proxy forces in the area to attack U.S. military assets and personnel in the region.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also announced last week that he would curtail Iran’s compliance with the landmark nuclear deal reached between the U.S. and several other world leaders with Iran in 2015.