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Sen. Gary Peters hopes war isn't the answer amid US-Iran conflict

13 ON YOUR SIDE spoke to Peters Wednesday via phone.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, a Democrat from Michigan, said Wednesday he hopes tensions between the U.S. and Iran will "deescalate" soon. 

The tensions between the two countries are heightened after Iran launched missiles that hit a military base in Iraq that housed American troops Tuesday night. This strike was a retaliation attack against the U.S. for its killing of Iranian leader, Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani. 

President Trump addressed the nation on live TV Wednesday and said that there were no American or Iraqi casualties, and the bases took minimal damage.

Read more: READ: President Trump's full remarks on Iran attack

One topic of Trump's speech was the economic sanctions that he threatened against the Iranians until they change their behavior. To that point, Peters said he hopes to see less "inflammatory rhetoric" from both sides.  

"We've seen some positive comments coming out of the Iranians, I don't necessarily trust that. The only thing I trust are actions. We've got to see that they actually have a change in behavior over the next few days and weeks," Peters said. 

The Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, said in a tweet: "[Iranians] do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression." Since the attacks, Iran announced they're going to restart their nuclear weapons program. 

Read more: President Trump: Iran appears to be 'standing down' after missile attack

Peters said that is very dangerous and is the reason the U.S. entered a nuclear agreement with them in the past. In 2018, Trump removed the U.S. from the Iran Nuclear Deal. 

Although it wasn't perfect, the senator said a better solution would have been to stay in the agreement, which is a better alternative than the possibility of war, which he said is likely amid the tension between the two countries. 

"Unfortunately we're closer to a war with Iran than we've been in nearly 40 years."

Peters said he hopes for at least a "diplomatic channel" open to Iran to have discussions because talking is better than going to war. 

"If anything in history that we have learned, it's fairly easy to get into a war, it's extremely difficult to get out of [one]."

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