Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – Sen. Marco Rubio praised President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the nuclear agreement with Iran, telling the audience at CUFI’s annual conference: “He did the right thing.”
Rubio said the Iran deal was not a treaty between Iran and the US since Congress hasn’t ratified it – “It was a political agreement between the previous administration and the Iranians.”
Rubio said it should come as no surprise that Trump announced he is pulling out of the deal, since it was widely debated throughout the 2016 election campaign. The Florida senator added, sarcastically, that some people who believed that the president would not pull out of the deal are “shocked” that Trump is living up to his promises.
“What did they do with the money they got from the Iran deal?” Rubio asked. “They didn’t invest in their people. They didn’t build roads or bridges. They continue to sponsor terror all over the world.”
He gave as an example the Iranian long-range missiles program.
“Why do you need a ballistic missiles project if you do not intend to put a nuclear warhead on it?” he asked rhetorically. “Are they having [an airspace] project? Are they going to put a man on the moon? Are they going to Mars? These missiles have one purpose: to carry a nuclear head on them and threaten the US.”
Rubio said another significant challenge to Israel is the BDS movement.
“It’s antisemitism dressed up as foreign policy,” he said. “There is a global effort to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. It is spreading to Europe and international organizations, to entities in the UN who sanctioned Israel more than all other nations combined in some years.”
He said the anti-BDS legislation he filed a year ago initially received strong support, but after the midterm election the situation has changed. “Suddenly we have people who oppose the BDS legislation. One of them is saying the reason we care for Israel is about the Benjamins,” he said in reference to Rep. Ilhan Omar. “And all of a sudden, an anti-BDS bill is controversial. There is a growing strain in American politics who supports the BDS. It’s absurd. There is nothing to do with free speech; it is about government contracting.”
Another arena that foments anti-Israeli bias is American universities.
“If you are going to college campuses today, there is a reason for concern,” Rubio said.
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