Dems hammer Trump over withdrawal from Iran deal

Democrats swiftly condemned President TrumpDonald John TrumpCDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump Trump says he'd like economy to reopen 'with a big bang' but acknowledges it may be limited Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill 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) MenendezHillicon Valley: Facebook launches portal for coronavirus information | EU sees spike in Russian misinformation on outbreak | Senate Dem bill would encourage mail-in voting | Lawmakers question safety of Google virus website Democratic senators press Google over privacy of coronavirus screening site Menendez calls for 'Marie Yovanovitch bill' to protect foreign service employees 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 ShaheenWho should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? McConnell sets Friday night deadline for bipartisan deal on stimulus American citizen released from Lebanese prison, returning to US 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 PelosiLawmakers outline proposals for virtual voting Mattis defends Pentagon IG removed by Trump Overnight Health Care: Trump calls report on hospital shortages 'another fake dossier' | Trump weighs freezing funding to WHO | NY sees another 731 deaths | States battle for supplies | McConnell, Schumer headed for clash 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 KaineDemocratic senator rips Navy head's 'completely inappropriate' speech on ousted carrier captain Biden's pick for vice president doesn't matter much Students with disabilities could lose with COVID-19 stimulus package 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 DurbinHillicon Valley: Schiff presses intel chief on staff changes | Warren offers plan to secure elections | Twitter's Jack Dorsey to donate B to coronavirus fight | WhatsApp takes steps to counter virus misinformation WhatsApp limiting message forwarding in effort to stop coronavirus misinformation Democrats ask EPA, Interior to pause rulemaking amid coronavirus 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 HarrisHillicon Valley: Schiff presses intel chief on staff changes | Warren offers plan to secure elections | Twitter's Jack Dorsey to donate B to coronavirus fight | WhatsApp takes steps to counter virus misinformation WhatsApp limiting message forwarding in effort to stop coronavirus misinformation The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Dybul interview; Boris Johnson update 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.