(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — Today, Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) joined Rep. Jim Himes (CT-04) and more than 100 House Democrats in sending a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to deescalate the tensions between the United States and Iran and resist factions in his Administration that are leading our country down a disastrous path to war.

“Armed conflict with Iran would endanger the lives of our servicewomen and men, dramatically escalate our national debt, and exacerbate critical national security problems faced by the United States and its closest allies, including jeopardizing the security of Israel and dramatically worsening the regional refugee crisis,” the letter read.

The letter drew the President’s attention to intentional and considered steps that his Administration has taken designed to exacerbate conflict with Iran and intentionally heighten the chance of armed conflict.

“The US exit from the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] and unilateral reinstitution of crippling sanctions, the recent designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, and the movement of the USS Abraham Lincoln Strike Group into the Strait of Hormuz have already provoked a dangerous Iranian response,” the letter continued.  “In the guise of ensuring the safety of the United States, these actions are a calculated effort by a pro-war faction in your Administration to provoke Iran into an incident that could be used as a justification for war.”

Rep. Raskin and the other signatories also reminded the President that, even though he is commander in chief of the armed forces, he must seek Congressional approval for the offensive use of military force.

“Article I of the Constitution, however, places the power to declare war and authorize offensive military force solely with Congress,” the letter states.  “The current authorization for the use of military force (AUMF), passed by Congress in 2001, does not provide the authority to engage in military action against Iran.”

A copy of the signed letter is available here.