Democratic senator: Pulling out of nuclear deal 'isolated the United States rather than isolating Iran'

Democratic senator: Pulling out of nuclear deal 'isolated the United States rather than isolating Iran'
© Aaron Schwartz

Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinSenate passes extension of application deadline for PPP small-business loans 1,700 troops will support Trump 'Salute to America' celebrations July 4: Pentagon GOP lawmakers voice support for Israeli plan to annex areas in West Bank MORE (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops MORE’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal had made tensions with Iran worse.

“By pulling out of the nuclear agreement it’s the view of Europe that this is an American problem rather than an international problem,” Cardin told “Fox News Sunday” guest host John Roberts. “We isolated the United States rather than isolating Iran.”

ADVERTISEMENT

That isolation, Cardin said, was particularly evident in the wake of attacks on Saudi facilities, for which Tehran-backed Houthi rebels have taken credit but which Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoHouse postpones testimony from key Pompeo aide about IG firing The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democratic proposal to extend 0 unemployment checks Pompeo pushes back on Russian bounty reports MORE has blamed on Iran.

While condemning Iran as a “bad actor,” Cardin said on Sunday that “there’s really not a military solution to the problem of Iran--we need to make diplomacy work. We have to reduce where we are, where we could have this miscalculation.”

“It would be disastrous if we got into a fighting war with Iran, it would not be in our national security interests,” he added.

Foreign policy hawks such as Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) have argued that Iran interpreted Trump's decision not to launch a retaliatory attack after Iran downed a U.S. drone earlier this year as a sign of weakness, which both Trump and Pompeo have disputed.

Trump also ordered more U.S. troops to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Friday, which Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperHouse panel votes to limit Trump's Germany withdrawal House panel votes to ban Confederate flag at Pentagon property Overnight Defense: Democrats blast Trump handling of Russian bounty intel | Pentagon leaders set for House hearing July 9 | Trump moves forward with plan for Germany drawdown MORE said will “send a clear message that the United States supports our partners in the region” and  “demonstrate commitment to upholding the international rules based order that we have long called on Iran to obey."