Cruz Backs Israel, Urges Obama to 'Reverse Course' on Iran

Image: Cruz Backs Israel, Urges Obama to 'Reverse Course' on Iran

Monday, 25 Nov 2013 09:21 AM

By Lisa Barron

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Sen. Ted Cruz weighed in late Sunday on President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran, agreeing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that it amounts to a "historic mistake" that threatens America and its allies.

"All the smiling embraces between diplomats after the interim deal was signed notwithstanding, the Iranian regime remains a brutal and oppressive dictatorship that pursues nuclear weapons for the purpose of dominating the Middle East and threatening America and our allies, notably Israel," the Texas Republican said in a statement released by his office.

"President Obama and Secretary Kerry should reconsider their policy of rapprochement with Iran that is dismaying to Jerusalem and encouraging to Tehran. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu predicted this agreement would be a 'very, very bad deal' and has now correctly identified it as an 'historic mistake,'" Cruz added.

The comments were some of the boldest issued by the tea party-backed lawmaker since spearheading the 16-day government shutdown in October over Obamacare that tarnished his credibility in some GOP circles. In his statement, Cruz seized on the agreement aimed at halting Iran's nuclear development program as another administration failure that would not prevent Tehran from continuing its effort to produce nuclear weapons.

"Not one centrifuge will be destroyed. Not one pound of enriched uranium will leave Iran. Not one American unjustly detained in Iran's notorious prisons will be released," his statement read.

But Iran, he continued, "will start to receive, in a matter of days, $7 billion in relief from international economics sanctions."

Cruz’s statement came after diplomats announced early Sunday in Geneva that they had reached a deal on the Iranian nuclear program that eases sanctions on Tehran in exchange for some concessions on its atomic work.

One of America’s staunchest allies in the Middle East, Israel quickly condemned the agreement, with Prime Minister Netanyahu describing it as a 'historic mistake' that his nation would not be bound to recognize or support.

"What was achieved last night in Geneva is not historic; it is a historic mistake. Today, the world has become a much more dangerous place," Netanyahu said in comments broadcast on Israel Radio. "Israel is not bound by this agreement."

In his comments, Cruz referenced a tweet by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani touting the Geneva deal as the beginning of the "breaking down" of international sanctions against Iran. The Texan called on the administration to "reverse course before any further damage is done."

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