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 CardinThe Secure Act makes critical reforms to our retirement system — let's pass it this year Lawmakers honor JFK on 56th anniversary of his death Senate Democrats ask Pompeo to recuse himself from Ukraine matters MORE (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments 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 PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoReport: Pompeo had secret meeting with GOP donors in London The shifting impeachment positions of Jonathan Turley The Hill's Morning Report - Dem dilemma on articles of impeachment 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: Trump leaves door open to possible troop increase in Middle East | Putin offers immediate extension of key nuclear treaty Trump leaves door open to possible troop increase in Middle East Pentagon official: 'Possible' more US troops could be deployed to Middle East 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."