Former President Jimmy Carter showed support for President Donald Trump’s recent decision to not take military action against Iran after the Islamic regime shot down a U.S. Navy drone over international waters.
“I agree with President Trump on his decision not to take military action against Iran,” Carter said while teaching Sunday school at Maranatha Baptist Church in his hometown in Georgia on June 23, reported NPR.
“I had a lot of problems with Iran when I was in office,” the former Democratic president added.
Carter’s comments come days after Trump pulled back on a plan to carry out a retaliatory response after learning at the last minute that it would cost the lives of 150 people. Trump said he didn’t think the response was proportionate.
“I don’t want to kill 150 Iranians … I don’t want to kill 150 of anything or anybody, unless it’s absolutely necessary,” Trump reiterated at the White House on June 22, adding that “anything is a lot when they shoot down an unmanned [vehicle].”
Carter, who has served in the Navy, also shared his view about war, saying he thought most of them were “unnecessary.”
“We’re supposed to be a ‘Christian’ nation are we not? But we are known throughout the world as the most warlike country on Earth. And I would say almost all the wars in which we’ve been involved, have been unnecessary,” he said.
This was the second time the former president has taught at the Sunday school since breaking his hip a month ago, reported NPR.
Some people camped out since 8 p.m. the night before in order to get into the church, according to WABE News’ reporter Emma Hurt.
Here in Plains for Sunday School with President Carter. First person in line got here at 8pm last night and camped out. Arrive after 2:30am? There are several overflow rooms. #gapol pic.twitter.com/sq592vN75g
— Emma N. Hurt (@Emma_Hurt) June 23, 2019
Tensions Between US and Iran
Longstanding tensions between Iran and the United States and its allies, including Saudi Arabia, have become more prominent since Washington pulled out of a deal last year aimed at curbing the Islamic regime’s nuclear ambitions. Tensions grew in May after Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.
It further escalated after a pair of oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman were attacked on June 13. The Trump administration accused Iran for the attacks while presenting video evidence that appears to implicate Tehran. Meanwhile, Iran denied having any role.
On June 17, the Iranian regime announced that it would breach an internationally agreed limit on its stock of low-enriched uranium after 10 days, adding that it would only remain in the nuclear deal, which was negotiated by the Obama administration in 2015, if its European signatories would step in to help the regime to circumvent the tight U.S. economic sanctions.
The United States responded the same day by sending about 1,000 additional troops for defensive purposes to the Middle East.
Then on June 24, Trump imposed new “hard-hitting” sanctions on the regime targeting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in response to the series of “aggressive behaviors” by the regime which he described as “not appropriate.”
“The Supreme Leader of Iran is one who ultimately is responsible for the hostile conduct of the regime,” he told reporters. “He is respected within his country. His office oversees the regime’s most brutal instruments.”
The president said the executive order will deny “access to key financial resources” used by the Supreme Leader, his office, and those “closely affiliated” with him.
The administration wants to force Tehran to open up to talks on its nuclear and missile programs and its activities in the region. Trump also reiterated that the United States does not want a conflict with Iran, telling reporters, “I can only tell you we cannot ever let Iran have a nuclear weapon.”
Bowen Xiao contributed to this report.