- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 20, 2019

Sen. Mazie Hirono said Thursday she is “very concerned” about Iran shooting down a U.S. drone over reportedly international waters, describing it as a situation “fraught with peril.”

“This whole situation in my view is fraught with peril in that if there’s any kind of a kinetic strike by either country, it can quickly escalate to something that could be akin to a war,” the Hawaii Democrat said on CNN’s “New Day” show.

“We know that the president doesn’t want to go to war with Iran. He has said so. We need Iran to come to the negotiation table from the Iranians’ viewpoint. I think there’s a mistrust of the United States because we ceremoniously pulled out of the Iranian nuclear deal, and so I think their perspective is how are we suppose to believe the United States is going to keep its word,” Ms. Hirono said.

“We need to create an environment where both sides, particularly at this time the Iranians, believe that it is time to come to the negotiation table. Apparently, it’s not that time yet, so miscalculations can happen,” she said.

Ms. Hirono also reacted to the president telling Fox News’ “Hannity” Wednesday evening that Americans “had nothing to worry about” with Iran.

“There’s a lot of things that the president says that raises my eyebrows as to whether or not what he’s saying is actually truthful or accurate, so there are those concerns. I’m glad that he thinks there’s nothing to worry about, maybe that’s his perspective, but I think if you were to talk to past people in the intel community or people of [U.S.] Central Command — there’s nothing to worry about? Is that why we’re sending a thousand more troops to the Middle East?” she asked.

Iran said it shot down the drone because it was in Iranian airspace, with one official saying, “this is the way the Iranian nation deals with its enemies.”

U.S. Central Command said the drone was shot down in international airspace while flying over the Sea of Hormuz, where two oil tankers were attacked just last week.

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