Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE said Sunday that Iran is now in “the driver’s seat” in the Middle East after Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani was killed in a U.S. drone strike and Iraq’s Parliament voted to expel foreign forces, including U.S. troops.
“This is a crisis totally of Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s making,” Biden said in Grinnell, Iowa, according to the Des Moines Register.
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“Iran now is going to be the person occupying and influencing Iraq, which is clearly not very much in our interest,” Biden said during a campaign stop.
“We have to face this alone, without our allies. The [Trump] administration didn’t consult or warn them, even though their interests are at stake, too — even though NATO countries have forces in the region as well,” he added. “NATO countries now are telling both — our allies, NATO — are telling both the United States and Iran — treating us both as part of the problem. Not Iran. Not us. Both of us.”
Biden also reportedly said that the Trump administration’s policies toward Iran, including the 2018 U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear agreement, had put Tehran on the path to nuclear weapons.
“They were not good guys,” Biden said. “But they were not moving toward a nuclear weapon — there was no chance they could get to it without us knowing at least a year, two years in advance, giving us plenty of options. What happens now?”
Iranian officials announced Sunday that they would no longer abide by uranium enrichment rules laid out in the 2015 agreement.
In the immediate aftermath of the drone strike that killed Soleimani in Baghdad, Biden had said he would reserve judgment but joined Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) in saying the power to take such actions in the future should fall to Congress.
However, on Sunday, Biden warned that the move had galvanized even critics of the Iranian government.
“They expect literally hundreds of thousands of supporters who were initially opposed to the government in Tehran,” he said, according to the Register, “now solidified around the leadership in Tehran.”