Dems hammer Trump over withdrawal from Iran deal

Democrats swiftly condemned President TrumpDonald John TrumpBroward County official Brenda Snipes submits resignation after criticism Retired lieutenant general tears into Trump over attacks against Navy SEAL: 'Disgusting' Senate barrels toward showdown over Trump's court picks MORE's declaration on Tuesday that he will pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal, casting the decision as a perilous abdication of American leadership and a slight against allies. 

"With this decision President Trump is risking U.S. national security, recklessly upending foundational partnerships with key U.S. allies in Europe and gambling with Israel’s security," Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezPro-Israel organizations should finally seek payback against Iran deal Dems Trump lowers refugee goal to 30,000, he must meet it Blame Senate, not FBI, for Kavanaugh travesty MORE (D-N.J.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement.

"Today’s withdrawal from the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] makes it more likely Iran will restart its nuclear weapons program in the future."

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Trump had long decried the deal with Iran as a catastrophic capitulation to Tehran, arguing that it ultimately failed to permanently block the Islamic Republic's path to a nuclear arsenal while still permitting the country to pursue other forms of aggression. 

But the president's announcement on Tuesday that he would formally withdraw from the deal made good on a campaign promise that many U.S. allies, particularly in the West, had tried to dissuade him from. 

Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenSunday shows preview: New members preview agendas after Democratic House takeover The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — White House to 'temporarily reinstate' Acosta's press pass after judge issues order | Graham to take over Judiciary panel | Hand recount for Florida Senate race Overnight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — Border deployment 'peaked' at 5,800 troops | Trump sanctions 17 Saudis over Khashoggi killing | Senators offer bill to press Trump on Saudis | Paul effort to block Bahrain arms sale fails MORE (D-N.H.), also a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, ripped Trump's decision, accusing him of basing the move on "political expediency," while ultimately undermining long-term security interests.

In pulling out of the pact, Shaheen said, Trump not only ignored the advice of key U.S. allies, but of his own military and foreign policy leaders. 

"This decision needlessly discards our only effective means of curtailing Iran’s nuclear capabilities and emboldens hardliners in Iran to resume nuclear weapons activity," Shaheen said. 

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiJohn Lewis joins Ocasio-Cortez on climate change push Dem House newcomers split on supporting Pelosi for Speaker Reelection campaign starts now, like it or not MORE (D-Calif.) slammed Trump's decision as an abdication of U.S. leadership, particularly at a time when the Trump administration is preparing for talks with North Korea over that country's nuclear program.

"@realDonaldTrump’s decision to abdicate American leadership during a critical moment in our effort to advance a denuclearization agreement with North Korea is particularly senseless, disturbing & dangerous," Pelosi tweeted. 

Another member of the Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — Border deployment 'peaked' at 5,800 troops | Trump sanctions 17 Saudis over Khashoggi killing | Senators offer bill to press Trump on Saudis | Paul effort to block Bahrain arms sale fails Overnight Defense: What the midterms mean for defense panels | Pompeo cancels North Korea meeting | Trump eyes Kim summit in early 2019 | Pentagon drops name for border mission Five takeaways from a divisive midterm election MORE (D-Va.), declared that Trump's vision of an "America first" foreign policy had degraded into "America alone," and accused the president of creating a "new global nuclear crisis."

"President Trump has set us on a dangerous road where war becomes more likely, especially as his advisers beat the drums for regime change, which should never be a goal of U.S policy," Kaine said in a statement. 

That sentiment was echoed by Senate Minority Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate barrels toward showdown over Trump's court picks Overnight Health Care — Presented by The Partnership for Safe Medicines — GOP lawmaker pushes back on Trump drug pricing plan | Pfizer to raise prices on 41 drugs next year | Grassley opts for Finance gavel McConnell: Criminal justice bill unlikely this year MORE (D-Ill.), who warned against the prospect of a renewed nuclear threat from Iran. 

"The last thing America and the world need right now is a new nuclear threat," Durbin tweeted. 

Trump had threatened for more than a year to pull out of the nuclear deal. He disavowed the pact in October, but stopped short of an outright withdrawal, demanding instead that negotiators fix what he described as holes in the framework. 

The U.S. had repeatedly recertified Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement, acknowledging publicly that Tehran had not begun enriching weapons-grade uranium. Trump, however, insisted that the pact did not go far enough. 

Among Trump's demands were that Iran be barred from manufacturing and testing ballistic missiles, and action be taken to block Tehran's support for groups designated as terrorist organizations by the U.S., such as Hezbollah in Lebanon. Those efforts were unsuccessful, Trump said. 

"It is clear to me that we cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement," he said at the White House on Tuesday.

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSome of us Midwesterners think maybe Amy Klobuchar would do OK as president Banking panel showcases 2020 Dems Gorka: John F. Kennedy wouldn't be allowed in Democratic Party MORE (D-Calif.) cast the president's decision as one intended to "score political points." She conceded that the deal was not perfect, but scolded Trump for failing to put forward an alternative proposal. 

"This nuclear deal is not perfect, but it is certainly the best existing tool we have to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and avoid a disastrous military conflict in the Middle East," she said.