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US senator: Pull out of Iran accord would isolate US

New York, An outright American withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal would isolate the United States--not Iran, a top US senator on foreign policy said on Sunday.

Speaking at the annual Jerusalem Post Conference in New York, Maryland's Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, who is a senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee, warned against a hasty exit two weeks ahead of a deadline set by US President Donald Trump on European powers to propose fixes to the 2015 accord.

I am for making sure Iran never has a nuclear weapon, but I don't want to see us isolate the United States from our allies, Cardin told the conference.

By withdrawing too quickly, without a comprehensive plan for the day after, We isolate the United States rather than isolate Iran, Cardin said. He said the Senate would support much stronger actions on Iran's non-nuclear activity, not covered by the 2015 deal negotiated under the Obama administration amongst six world powers and Iran.

Cardin was the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when Congress passed oversight legislation on the Iran nuclear deal. He disapproved of the ultimate agreement once it came to a vote in the chamber in 2015.

The senator also said that the US should maintain a presence in Syria to ensure that Iran does not fill any vacuum a withdrawal of US troops might create, amid talk within the Trump administration of a complete withdrawal of forces.

The United States needs to be engaged on how this civil war ends in Syria, he said. I don't think we've been effective.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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