(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said he appreciates President Trump for following the principles of "peace through strength" when it comes to Iran.
Cruz called it a "dramatic shift" from the Iran policy under the Obama-Biden administration, which sent billions of dollars to Iran, helping it fund the missiles that are now coming our way.
Under Barack Obama, as you noted, the policy was appeasement. The policy, under the disastrous Iranian nuclear deal under Obama, was to give over $100 billion to Iran. They literally flew 1.7 billion dollars in cash in unmarked bills on pallets in the dead of night into Iran.
In a very real sense, the missiles that we saw fired on U.S. servicemen and women tonight (Tuesday night in Iraq) were paid for by the billions that the Obama administration flooded the ayatollah with. And if history teaches anything, it's don't give billions of dollars to people who hate you and want to kill you.
And so, let me say, the last three years, I've spent a lot of time with President Trump, urging him to pull out of Obama's disastrous Iran deal. He did that. He took on his own State Department, his own Defense Department, and made the right decision there. Urging the president to end the oil waivers. You know, we had waivers in place that were allowing Iran to sell a million barrels a day of oil. The president agreed and ended those waivers.
And so, the effects of these sanctions and the economic pressure, it's having a real effect.
Cruz added that the United States needs to "stand up to the Ayatollah Khamenei," whom he described as a "radical religious zealot" who hates America.
"He literally chants 'Death to America,' and he calls Israel the Little Satan and America the Great Satan. The way to deal with threats like that is not through weakness, but rather through strength. And I think we saw that in taking out Soleimani this past week."
No nuclear weapons for Iran
Cruz said the biggest national security threat facing the United States is the threat of a nuclear Iran: "The risks are unacceptably high" that Iran would use nukes, Cruz said -- "that we would find that out through a mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv or New York or Los Angeles."
"I'm not willing to roll those dice," Cruz continued. "A theocratic lunatic should not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. We stopped funding it. We stopped the deal flooding them with billions. But we need to be absolutely unequivocal that he (Ayatollah Khamenei) will not get nuclear weapons.
"You know, tonight could have played out very differently if they didn't just have ballistic missiles but they had nuclear warheads. You could be seeing literally millions of American casualties, particularly if they put them (nukes) on an ICBM and took them to a U.S. city. That's not a risk we should allow."
Cruz ruled out a U.S. ground war in the Middle East: "We are not going to get into an extended land war in the Middle East. We're not going to do it," he said:
But fortunately…we have air power. We have the ability to project force, we have economic sanctions. There are all sorts of steps short of sending in the Marines, and our mission should not be -- sometimes Republicans have gotten off track and thought that our mission should be to turn foreign countries into democratic utopias.
I don't want to turn Iran into Switzerland. I think it would be a wonderful thing for the Iranian people if they overthrew the ayatollah and if they ended this tyranny and oppression, but it's not the job of our soldiers to go in and risk their lives to do that. It is the job of our soldiers to keep America safe, and killing terrorists is a very good way to start.