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 ramp up pressure for infrastructure deal amid time crunch Democrats brace for slog on Biden's spending plan Overnight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia MORE (D-Conn.) said Sunday that President TrumpDonald TrumpMyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News Haaland, Native American leaders press for Indigenous land protections Simone Biles, Vince Lombardi and the courage to walk away 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.