Sanders slams Trump on Iran conflict: ‘He set fire and then put it out’

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has taken a swipe at US President Donald Trump, saying he does not deserve credit for preventing a possible war with Iran, because he is the one who has driven the US to its brink.

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In a an interview with CBS’ ‘Face the Nation’ host Margaret Brennan, the senator from Vermont could not suppress a smirk when mocking the notion that Trump somehow deserves recognition for defusing tensions with Iran with his last-minute decision to not proceed with an attack on its military sites in retaliation for the downing of a US high-altitude drone earlier that day.

Sanders argued that it was Trump’s fault that the situation has flared up to the point that he had to hit the brakes.

“It’s like somebody setting fire to a basket full of paper and then putting it out. He helped create the crisis, and then he stopped the attacks.”

Trump on Saturday attempted to clarify his decision to call off the strike, tweeting that he “never called the strike against Iran ‘BACK,’” but “just stopped it from going forward at this time.”

Trump previously said that he decided against the attack some 10 minutes before it could be launched, when American warships and military planes were just waiting for the green light.

Sanders also pulled no punches in responding to Brennan when she suggested that Trump “was just doing a limited strike,” which, according to the US president himself, could have claimed 150 Iranian lives.

“Oh… just a limited strike! Oh, I’m sorry, I just didn’t know that it’s okay to simply attack another country with bombs. That’s a limited strike? That’s an act of warfare,” Sanders said.

Read more: US credibility dented in Iran standoff – M K Bhadrakumar

The famously anti-war senator lashed out at Trump further for normalizing the idea that going to war with Iran “is something that might be good for this country.”

Trump has been upping the ante on Iran, having sent a carrier strike group, a battery of Patriot missiles, nuclear bombers and some 2,500 extra troops to the area, while citing a growing “threat” from Tehran. Invoking the same Iranian menace, Trump sidestepped Congress to clear $8 billion worth of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE last month. Apart from flexing its military muscle at Iran’s doorstep, the US has blamed the Islamic Republic for attacking oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, without providing hard proof of its involvement, while simultaneously squeezing its economy with fresh rounds of punitive economic sanctions, which Tehran labeled an “act of economic terrorism.”

While he has decided not to pound Iran with missiles just now, Trump announced “additional sanctions” against the country that are due to take effect from Monday.

RT with additional input by GVS News Desk