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Elizabeth Warren says Trump is risking another ‘forever war’ with Iran



Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts on Tuesday said President Donald Trump is responsible for provoking the ongoing crisis with Iran as she warned that the US can’t afford another “forever war.”

This came a day after Iran announced plans to violate the 2015 nuclear deal in the near future by increasing its uranium stockpile and ramping up enrichment of low-grade uranium. Subsequently, the Pentagon announced the US is deploying an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East amid the tensions with Iran.

In a tweet reacting to these developments, Warren said, “I hope Iran chooses a different path. But let’s be clear: Trump provoked this crisis. He has no strategy to contain it, he’s burned through our friends and allies, and now he’s doubling down on military force. We can’t afford another forever war.”

Read more: Trump says tanker attacks aren’t worth a fight with Iran as the US military prepares for confrontation

Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018 in defiance of a number of key US allies and the advice of many nuclear experts. Though relations between the US and Iran were never strong to begin with, many experts point to this decision as the catalyst for the heightened tensions that have reached a boiling point in recent weeks.

Last week, two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman. The Trump administration has blamed Iran, which has denied any responsibility.

The UK and Israel are standing behind the US and its allegations against Iran, but other US allies like Japan and Germany have asked for more evidence. Meanwhile, the UN is calling for an independent investigation into the incident.

Iran’s Monday announcement on its plans to break from the nuclear deal was also a call for Europe to do more to pressure the US to stop hitting the Iranian economy with crippling sanctions. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said there was still time for Europe to save the nuclear deal.

“It’s a crucial moment, and France can still work with other signatories of the deal and play an historic role to save the deal in this very short time,” Rouhani said Monday.

Read more: Iran just took its boldest action yet against the nuclear deal to ‘blackmail’ US allies and isolate Trump

Indeed, Warren’s critique of Trump’s Iran strategy comes as the Iran nuclear deal is at risk of crumbling, which could put the Iranians a major step closer toward being a nuclear power.

Warren, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020 and is rapidly rising in the polls, is among the few candidates who’ve spoken out on foreign policy issues in the campaign season so far. The crisis with Iran could be among the issues candidates are questioned on in the first Democratic debate in Miami later this month.

Trump has said he does not want a conflict with Iran, and seems to be at odds with some of his more hawkish advisers on the issue as the situation rapidly escalates.

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