Ted Cruz’s worst fear about the nuclear deal with Iran? That “millions of Americans will be murdered by radical theocratic zealots.”
Speaking to reporters in the Capitol on Tuesday afternoon, the Texas senator and conservative presidential aspirant laid out several doomsday scenarios of what would happen if Iran acquires a nuclear weapon, which Cruz and many GOP critics charge is more likely under the agreement negotiated by Tehran’s leaders and the international community.
President Barack Obama and his administration argue that under the deal Iran’s ability to quickly make a bomb will be hamstrung, and that doing nothing would actually accelerate Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
But Cruz said if Iran were to acquire a bomb, he fears the detonation of a nuclear weapon over Tel Aviv, Israel’s second-largest city, that would “murder vast numbers of Palestinians” and Israeli Jews.
“The odds are unacceptably high that they would view the murder of those Palestinians is perfectly acceptable collateral damage to annihilating millions of Jews,” Cruz said.
The second scenario that Cruz said is a “really real risk” is Iran loading a nuclear bomb onto a ship, guiding it to the Atlantic Ocean and detonating it in the atmosphere to “shut down the entire electrical grid on the Eastern Seaboard.”
“It could take down our stock market, our financial systems, but even more importantly, could take down food delivery, water delivery, heat, air conditioning, transportation. The projections are that one nuclear warhead in the atmosphere over the Eastern Seaboard could result in tens of millions Americans dying,” Cruz said, responding to a question of what is the biggest risk under Obama’s nuclear deal. “The greatest risk to this Iranian deal, it is that millions of Americans will be murdered by radical theocratic zealots.”
Cruz also weighed in on Secretary of State John Kerry’s reaction to remarks by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei that he will “trample” the United States. Kerry said the comments were “disturbing” but wasn’t sure how to interpret them.
“John Kerry said something to the effect of: I don’t know what to make of Khamenei’s comment,” Cruz said. “There’s not a great deal of ambiguity in death to America. He’s not hiding his desired outcome and only a fool would desire to see radical theocratic zealots who are pledging to murder Americans to have nuclear weapons and the capability to murder millions of Americans in one flash of light.”
The Senate will vote on the Iran nuclear agreement in September.