Sen. Mitch McConnell is backing President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement entered into by the Obama administration.
McConnell echoed Trump’s rationale in a statement characterizing the deal as “deeply flawed” and calling on allies to address Iran’s “malign behavior across the broader Middle East.” The majority leader said the decision gives the U.S. and other stakeholders an opportunity to either negotiate a better deal or bring a maximum pressure campaign against Iran.
The senator’s reaction was a stark contrast to the mood on the other side of the aisle.
Rep. John Yarmuth, the only Democrat in Kentucky’s federal delegation, accused the president of manufacturing an “international crisis and risks an armed conflict with a nuclear Iran.” The Louisville lawmaker said Trump has consistently demonstrated his “ignorance of the complexity of the world’s challenges.”
Sen. Rand Paul – initially an opponent of the Obama-era deal – has warned against pulling out of the agreement. In a 2017 interview with Politico, the Republican said he believes evidence shows Iran has been complying and the U.S. should instead focus on a deal to curb the regime’s ballistic missile program.