Senator Angus King was unusually direct when asked about the current crisis with Iran.
“I can’t sugarcoat it, this is a very dangerous situation,” King said.
The killing of General Solemani, who Sen. King described as the number two leader in Iran, has fueled new anger against the United States in both Iran and Iraq. Speaking from Washington Tuesday, Senator King said America needs to be prepared for military and cyberattacks in response.
“I think the big thing we have to do is be ready. The Iranians have announced no uncertain terms they will respond in some way, using the term revenge. Our President says he will respond to their response .... that’s called escalation,” King told NEWS CENTER Maine.
The Senator said Iran has a capable military, and that if there ever were to be an actual war, we would not “roll over” Iran as American forces did in Iraq, though the Senator said U.S. forces would certainly prevail in such a conflict.
However, he warned there is a significant risk of both conventional and cyberattacks by Iran.
“We need to make sure our people in the middle east are safe, strengthen the perimeter wherever American facilities are. We also need to be thinking about cyber attack in the US. Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security put our people on alert which I think was a very good decision because I think a cyber response by Iran is one of the likely possibilities.”
Senator King said despite the current crisis, the U.S. needs to stay in Iraq for the time being. He said if we left, Iraq would become subservient to Iran, that the Russians would also step in and that ISIS would be reinvigorated, posing a renewed threat to America.
King was expecting to review classified White House documents on the killing of General Solemani, together with fellow members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Tuesday afternoon.