Dem Rep Blames Withdrawal From Iran Deal for Attacks on U.S. Embassy

January 2, 2020

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D., Va.) on Thursday blamed President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal for the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

During an interview on MSNBC, Connolly argued that walking away from the Obama-era nuclear agreement is "the source of all of this."

"Iranian behavior is certainly not pristine and not something to be emulated or praised, but we did engage with Iran in the nuclear agreement, and it was working," Connolly said. "It was a unilateral decision by President Trump to renounce that agreement, an American agreement, and walk away from it."

Connolly said the "possibility of trust with Iran was destroyed" by Trump's decision, which led to Iran's aggression.

"Frankly, the Iranians felt they had nothing to lose in the relationship, and consequences flow from that," he said. "So I believe President Trump in his foreign policy—and you mentioned North Korea, that's another one—needs to bear responsibility. Personal intrusion into the process is not a substitute for thoughtful diplomacy and engagement."

Earlier this week, Iran proxies in Iraq took over the U.S. embassy in Baghdad to retaliate for U.S. airstrikes that killed more than 20 Iranian-backed militia members.

Trump responded to the attack by tweeting, "Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities."