- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 23, 2019

Iran’s next step may be to attack a manned U.S. plane or American ships in the Middle East, Sen. Tom Cotton warned Sunday, urging the Trump administration to send a strong message to Tehran or risk further escalation.

In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” the Arkansas Republican said he fears Iran may feel emboldened after last week’s downing of a U.S. drone. President Trump considered airstrikes in retaliation for the incident but ultimately decided against them.

“What I see is Iran steadily marching up the escalation chain,” Mr. Cotton said. “It started out with threats. It went to an attack on vessels in ports. It went to an attack on vessels at sea. Now it’s an unmanned American aircraft.”

“I fear that if Iran doesn’t have a firm set of boundaries drawn around its behavior we’re going to see an attack on a U.S. ship or a U.S. manned aircraft,” he continued.

In addition to the drone attack, Iran allegedly carried out limpet mine attacks on a half dozen oil tankers in recent weeks.

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