Biden warns Trump strategy makes Iran conflict ‘more likely’
search

Biden warns Trump strategy makes Iran conflict ‘more likely’

Former VP and presidential hopeful says it ‘sadly ironic’ that State Department ‘now calling on Iran to abide by the very deal the administration abandoned’

Democratic US presidential hopeful and former Vice President Joe Biden addresses the Moral Action Congress of the Poor People's Campaign on June 17, 2019, at Trinity Washington University in Washington. (Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP)
Democratic US presidential hopeful and former Vice President Joe Biden addresses the Moral Action Congress of the Poor People's Campaign on June 17, 2019, at Trinity Washington University in Washington. (Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP)

WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump’s strategy on Iran, including abandoning the 2015 nuclear pact, is a “self-inflicted disaster” that could push the United States towards war with a major adversary, Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden warned Thursday.

Hours after Iran shot down a US spy drone, sending tensions soaring, the former vice president said Trump was failing to prevent the Islamic republic from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and failing to secure energy supplies through the Strait of Hormuz.

“President Trump’s Iran strategy is a self-inflicted disaster,” Biden, who leads in polling for his party’s 2020 nomination, said in a statement.

“By walking away from diplomacy, Trump has made military conflict more likely.”

A pilot speaks to a crew member by an F/A-18 fighter jet on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier in the Arabian Sea on June 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)

Biden served nearly four years as chairman of the powerful Foreign Relations Committee during his 36 years in the Senate, and considers foreign policy a strong suit.

As vice president, he helped then-president Barack Obama negotiate the 2015 agreement between Iran and world powers that imposed curbs on its nuclear program, blocking its path to an atomic weapon.

But Trump unilaterally withdrew from the agreement last year, and as a result, Biden said, “Iran is building back up its nuclear capability.”

While Trump promised that exiting the deal and slapping sanctions on Iran would brake its belligerence in the region, “they’ve only gotten more aggressive,” Biden said.

US President Donald Trump, accompanied by then-Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, right, pats Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, after he gives an opening prayer at the beginning of a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, August 16, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

“It’s sadly ironic that the State Department is now calling on Iran to abide by the very deal the Trump Administration abandoned.”

Biden stressed that Iran continues to be a “bad actor that abuses human rights” and supports terrorism. “But what we need is presidential leadership that will take strategic action to counter the Iranian threat” and improve cooperation with US allies.

With tensions soaring, Iran will likely be a topic when Biden and 19 other candidates in the crowded Democratic field gather in Miami over two nights next week for the first primary debate of the 2020 cycle.

read more:
less
comments
more