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 Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines Democrats pushing for changes to bipartisan infrastructure deal The Hill's Morning Report - 2024 GOPers goal: Tread carefully, don't upset Trump MORE (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Sunday that President TrumpDonald TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Trump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race 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.”

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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 PompeoMike PompeoNoem to travel to South Carolina for early voting event Poll: Trump leads 2024 GOP primary trailed by Pence, DeSantis Pence v. Biden on China: Competing but consistent visions 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 EsperOvernight Defense: Pentagon chief defends Milley after Trump book criticism | Addresses critical race theory | Top general says Taliban has 'strategic momentum' in war The Biden administration and Tunisia: Off to a good start Overnight Defense: Navy pulls plug on 0 million railgun effort | Esper defends Milley after Trump attacks | Navy vet charged in Jan. 6 riot wants trial moved 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."