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 CardinDemocrats vow to push for repeal of other Trump rules after loss on power plant rollback Senate Democrats aim to repeal rules blocking Trump tax law workarounds Congress briefed on Iran after Saudi oil attacks MORE (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocratic senator rips Trump's 'let them fight' remarks: 'Enough is enough' Warren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Trump touts Turkey cease-fire: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight' 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 PompeoTrump touts Turkey cease-fire: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight' Pompeo to meet Netanyahu as US alliances questioned Washington indecision compounded the Kurds' dilemma 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 EsperDemocrats want Mulvaney to testify in Trump impeachment probe Senators fear Syria damage 'irreversible' after Esper, Milley briefing Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs 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."