US lawmaker warns of ‘collision course’


A leading Democrat warned on Sunday that United States and Iran are on a “collision course” as Tehran steps up its nuclear program and Washington accusing it of plotting to kill Saudi envoy. However, Senate Intelligence Committee Head Dianne Feinstein said this was not the time for war with Iran, but for stronger international sanctions to change its behavior.
Feinstein said that, like others, she was initially skeptical of the alleged plot by Iran’s Quds Force to hire members of a Mexican drug cartel to kill Saudi Ambassador to Washington Adel al-Jubeir, with a bomb in a restaurant. However, after being briefed on the evidence, she concluded it was a “dead bang” case, with compelling signals intelligence and a confession by the Iranian-American used car dealer who was arrested in the plot on September 29.
She said there was evidence that Quds Force Head Qassem Soleimani knew about the plot. Soleimani is believed to report to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but Feinstein said there was no evidence that Khamenei knew about the plot. However, when asked whether the US should go on the offensive against the Quds Force, she cautioned: “It probably would escalate into a war, and the question is: do we want to go to war with Iran at this time? My judgment is no. We have our hands full with Iraq, with Afghanistan, with the deteriorating relationship with Pakistan,” she said.