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Connecticut senator: 'Trump policy on Iran has been a total disaster'

Connecticut senator: 'Trump policy on Iran has been a total disaster'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Biden decides on pick for secretary of State Overnight Defense: Formal negotiations inch forward on defense bill with Confederate base name language | Senators look to block B UAE arms sales | Trump administration imposes Iran sanctions over human rights abuses MORE (D-Conn.) said Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE’s policy on Iran “has been a total disaster" after the president criticized Murphy for meeting with an Iranian official last week.

Murphy met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zariff last weekend, prompting the president to accuse the Connecticut senator of violating the Logan Act, which forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments. 

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Murphy defended the trip on CNN’s “State of the Union,” saying he informed the State Department ahead of time that he was meeting with Zarif. He added that it’s a part of his job as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on the Middle East and Counterterrorism.

“And the fact of the matter is it’s dangerous that this administration is not talking to the Iranians,” he said. “The Trump policy on Iran has been a total disaster. Iran is more powerful today than they were at the beginning of the Trump presidency.” 

The Democratic senator cited proof of Iran’s resurgence from its restarting of its nuclear program, its attacks on U.S. troops and its increasing support for proxies.

“I’m not negotiating with Iran, but it does make sense for somebody to be listening to them and to be engaged in some level of outreach as perhaps a means of trying to advert crisis and disaster down the road,” Murphy said. 

Tensions between Iran and the U.S. have been increasing since Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal and implemented sanctions. 

This year, the president authorized the attack that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, prompting Iran to vow retaliation. A week later, Iran launched strikes against Iraqi military bases that house U.S. troops, causing dozens to experience head injuries.