GOP senator says Iran needs to 'stop acting like an outlaw'

Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonCongress must address gender gap in nominations to military service academies GOP senators press Google on reports it developed a smart speaker with Huawei Sunday shows - Mass shootings grab the spotlight MORE (R-Ark.) praised President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren unveils Native American policy plan Live-action 'Mulan' star spurs calls for boycott with support of Hong Kong police Don't let other countries unfairly tax America's most innovative companies MORE’s handling of relations with Iran, saying the “rogue regime” needs change its behavior and “stop acting like an outlaw.”

“We want Iran to change its behavior," Cotton, who sits on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, told Hill.TV during an interview on Friday. 

"We want Iran to stop acting like an outlaw, rogue regime that supports terrorism throughout the region and tries to destabilize governments throughout the region,” he continued.

The Arkansas Republican also defended Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran deal, an Obama-era agreement that was aimed at limiting Tehran’s nuclear program. 

“Part of the problem is that it didn’t really stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, it may have slowed it briefly but it wouldn’t stop them forever, which is the stated goal,” he said. “It also gave them billions and billions of dollars of economic relief through lifting the sanctions.”

The comments come amid rising U.S.-Iran tensions over the past few weeks.

President Trump announced on Friday that the U.S. will send roughly 1,500 troops to the Middle East to counter Iran's influence in the region, and earlier this month National Security Adviser John BoltonJohn Robert BoltonTrump to meet with national security team on Afghanistan peace plan Live-action 'Mulan' star spurs calls for boycott with support of Hong Kong police A US-UK free trade agreement can hold the Kremlin to account MORE warned that any threat from Iran would be met with "unrelenting force."

Democrats, meanwhile, are calling for a more cautious approach, pointing to Iraq as a warning sign of the consequences of war with Iran.

"I was right about Vietnam. I was right about Iraq. I will do everything in my power to prevent a war with Iran. I apologize to no one," Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPoll: Support for Sanders among college students reaches highest level since April The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Native American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment MORE (I-Vt.), a 2020 Democratic contender, tweeted about his opposition to armed conflicts.

—Tess Bonn