In an interview with the CBS News on Saturday, Gabbard blasted US President Donald Trump for withdrawing the country from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
The 38-year-old member of the House of Representatives from Hawaii said that although she believed a “stronger” deal was needed to replace the landmark accord negotiated by the administration of former President Barack Obama, she thought it was still 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.
He slammed Trump decision to send troops backed up by an aircraft carrier and strategic bombers and fighter jets to the Persian Gulf region in an attempt to intimidate Tehran.
By expanding US military presence in 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,” she added.
Gabbard served in combat zones in Iraq as a member of the Hawaii National Guard between 2004 and 2005.
US-Iran tensions highest in 30 years: Ex-NATO chiefA former top NATO commander says tensions between the US and Iran are at the highest level he has ever seen over the past three decades.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran escalated after Trump unilaterally pulled his country out of the Iran nuclear deal with world powers, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May last year and re-imposed harsh sanctions against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticisms.
The tensions saw a sharp rise on the first anniversary of Washington’s exit from the deal as the US moved to ratchet up pressure on Iran by tightening its oil sanctions and sending military reinforcements, including an aircraft carrier strike group, a squadron of B-52 bombers, and a battery of patriot missiles, to the Persian Gulf region.
The IRGC Aerospace Forces downed last month a US Navy RQ-4 Global Hawk over the territorial waters off the coastal province of Hormozgan after it violated Iran’s airspace.
Iran’s IRGC shoots down intruding US spy droneIran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps shoots down an intruding American spy drone in the country’s southern coastal province of Hormozgan.
The Trump administration imposed new sanctions against Iran at the end of June, and the Department of Defense sent an aircraft carrier, thousands of troops and F-22 bombers to the region.
Concerning the state of the JCPOA, Iran announced in May that the country had partly suspended its obligations under the nuclear deal and given the deal’s European signatories — Britain, France and Germany — 60 days until July 7 to save the accord and stand up to US pressure.
Tehran announced on Monday that it would surpass the uranium stockpile limit set under the nuclear deal and increase uranium enrichment from the current 3.67 percent to the level that fulfills the needs of its power plants.