Iranian-Born S.F. Supervisor Calls to Limit Trump’s War Powers

Supervisor Ahsha Safaí backed Congress' push to curb military action, calling the resolution "personal."

Supervisor Ahsha Safaí, who was born in Iran, called on Congress to limit President Donald Trump’s war powers on Tuesday after Trump ordered the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s top military commander.

Safaí introduced a resolution at the Board of Supervisors’ first meeting in the new year, pushing Congress to stabilize Trump’s recent military decisions. Last Thursday night at Trump’s order, the United States assassinated Soleimani in Baghdad, Iraq in what’s been called an act of war that escalated tensions in the Middle East. 

“This resolution is particularly personal to me,” Safaí said. “There’s no question that it has fanned the flames of an area of the world that doesn’t need a lot of fanning. It has escalated to a point where we’re not exactly clear what our president is doing.”

The decision came at a shock even to the people who presented him with an extreme option made using “razor-thin” evidence, according to the New York Times. On Monday, House Speaker and San Francisco Rep. Nancy Pelosi announced the House would vote on a war powers resolution to limit Trump’s military actions while California Sen. Kamala Harris called for the declassification of Trump’s notification to Congress about the strike. 

Safaí’s resolution backs those calls.

After ordering Suleimani’s assassination, Trump threatened to destroy 52 Iranian sites “some at a very high level & important to Iran & Iranian culture” should the country retaliate. Purposefully destroying cultural heritage sites is considered a war crime by the United Nations Security Council and 1954 Hague Convention. Iran is home to 24 UNESCO World Heritage sites. On Monday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the United States would “follow the laws of armed conflict.”

“The president is following in the footsteps of ISIS by making statements like that,” Safaí said. “It is barbaric.”

Dominoes continued to fall. Iraq voted to kick out the United States military, which is sending 3,000 more troops to Middle East. Reports flooded in about Customs and Border Control detaining Iranian American citizens and green card holders at airports over the weekend, moving civil rights groups into high gear. CPD denied the allegations.

Safaí hopes the war power resolution will help the United States “not escalate that area of the world and not drag our military personnel into war. People in that region are also feeling very unsafe and scared.” 

Roughly an hour after Safaí introduced the resolution, news broke that Iran had fired missiles at U.S. bases in Iraq in retaliation.

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