Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in an interview with Fox News on Sunday that the U.S. and Iran are on a collision course as Tehran steps up its nuclear program and escalates hostilities with its alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to Washington, but added that the U.S. should not seek war with Iran.
Sen. Feinstein said: “Iran is escalating, I believe, its nuclear development. Iran is increasingly hostile. It’s a very dangerous situation. If you project out a number of years, we are on a collision course. If we want to avoid it, we have to take action to avoid it."
She added that there was evidence that Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran's Quds Force, a special operations arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, knew about the plot to kill Saudi Ambassador to Washington, Adel al-Jubeir, with a bomb in a restaurant.
Soleimani is believed to report to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but Feinstein said there was no evidence Khamenei knew about the plot.
The Quds Force has been accused of using proxies for attacks on US forces in Iraq and as far away as Argentina, where a truck bombing devastated a Jewish community center in 1994, killing 85.
“Iran reaches out around Iran, but to cross to the other side of the world and try and attack in this country is an escalation, and that’s what concerns us and I think that’s what concerns the Saudis as well,” said Feinstein.
“I don’t think this is just an isolated thing that suddenly came up when they have never done these kinds of things before. They have done these kinds of things before and this is certainly a continuum, but an extension and an escalation.”
But when asked whether the United States 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. Our country should not be looking to go to war. I think we should be looking to stop bad behavior, short of war."