Tulsi Gabbard says war with Iran would be “far more devastating” than Iraq war

July 7, 2019 - 18:58

TEHRAN – Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard believes that war with Iran would be “far more devastating” to the U.S. than the war in Iraq was.

Speaking with CBS News, she said President Donald Trump was “pushing us closer and closer to war with Iran.”

Gabbard said that Trump was wrong to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, which was negotiated by the Obama administration. She said that while she was pushing for a “stronger” deal, that it was better than no deal.

“I think there are some flaws right now with it. But ultimately, when it came down to it, that nuclear agreement prevented war. And that’s the danger of what the Trump administration is doing right now, pushing us closer and closer to war with Iran by ripping up that deal,” Gabbard said.

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have escalated in recent months. In June, Iran shot down a U.S. drone after it entered Iran’s airspace on the coasts of the Persian Gulf. Reportedly, Trump had approved a strike on Iran, but he said he backed off at the last minute. 

Trump also signed new sanctions against Iran at the end of June, and the Department of Defense has sent thousands of troops to the region.

“Deploying U.S. troops to the region, they basically set the dynamite fuse and lit it, for another war that will be far more devastating [than what] we saw throughout Iraq, the war that I served in,” said Gabbard, who served in Iraq as a member of the Hawaii National Guard.

In a new spiral of escalating tensions, Iran has reportedly announced it is set to increase the level of uranium enrichment beyond the threshold allowed under the 2015 nuclear agreement. July 7 marked the end of the 60-day deadline Iran had set for Europe to deliver on financial incentives contained in the nuclear deal.

Tehran revealed its first instance of surpassing the limits set by the nuclear deal on Monday, announcing it had begun stockpiling low-enriched uranium beyond the 300kg limit allowed, a year after Trump withdrew from the deal and reimposed sanctions.

Ali Akbar Velayati, an adviser on international affairs to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Iranian officials were unanimous in their decision to raise the level of uranium enrichment.

“We need uranium enriched to 5% for use in the Bushehr [power plant] and this is a completely peaceful purpose,” Velayati said.

Velayati said the decision is a “result of consensus” in the Iranian establishment in response to the “violations” committed by the remaining parties to the deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iran has been urging European signatories to the deal to combat the U.S. sanctions, which it says are a form of “economic warfare” and are taking their toll on the Iranian economy.

Iran’s chief demand is that the country be permitted to export crude oil at the same levels before the U.S. reimposed sanctions.

In May, Iran announced that the country had partly suspended its obligations under the nuclear deal, giving the other JCPOA signatories 60 days — until July 7 — to save the accord and protect Iran from the crippling impact of U.S. sanctions.


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