Tim Kaine: White House should have used sanctions on Iran rather than withdraw from agreement

May 9, 2018 GMT

Sen. Tim Kaine said Monday that the Trump administration should have used the sanctions on Iran passed by the Senate last year rather than pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal.

“We gave the White House sanctions tools a year ago to go against Iran on all non-nuclear activity: their aggression in Yemen, their human rights violations, their violations of missile protocols,” Mr. Kaine, Virginia Democrat, said on CNN.

He said that pulling out of the international agreement shows bad faith on behalf of the U.S. and dismantles a program that was working.

“We wanted to put the nuclear deal on ice their nuclear program on ice so we could go after and target these activities. And we gave the White House sanctions tools a year ago that they haven’t used. They should’ve been using the sanctions power we gave them to go after these activities instead of doing nothing and then blowing up the one part of this that’s working,” Mr. Kaine said.

President Trump officially decided to pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear agreement on Tuesday after long criticizing the agreement. The deal, reached with the international community under the Obama administration, agreed to lift sanctions on Iran in exchange for them limiting their nuclear development and agreeing to international inspectors.