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US Democrats accuse Trump of ‘bending intelligence’ on Iran

Four US senators have sent a letter to President Donald Trump to express growing concerns on Capitol Hill that his administration is “inflating threats and bending intelligence” to justify a potential armed confrontation with Iran.

The letter, from Democratic Senators Ed Markey, Jeff Merkley and Chris Van Hollen, as well as Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, and obtained by Foreign Policymagazine, accuses the Trump administration of leading the US down a “path to another war in the Middle East.”

In the letter, the lawmakers warn that the Trump administration’s Iran strategy is “increasingly inconsistent and counterproductive” and “fits into a larger pattern of inflating threats and bending intelligence to justify dangerous, predetermined policies.”

They asked Trump to respond to their letter by June 15 with more clarification on his Iran policy.

The letter underscores the growing concern in the US Congress that the White House might stumble into an armed confrontation with Iran. It also highlights how rattled Democrats are by the administration’s overall Iran strategy.

Last week, two other Democratic senators, Dick Durbin and Tom Udall, published an op-ed in the Washington Post that delivered similar warnings.

The letter comes amid reports that Trump is angry at his National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other hawks in his administration who are pushing the United States into a military confrontation with Iran.

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