WASHINGTON – US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Tuesday said that what appears to have “temporarily paused” the nuclear deal with Iran is that “the ayatollahs’ demands are so extreme and so radical.”
“[I am] hopeful, which may not be the same as optimistic,” Cruz told The Jerusalem Post when asked about the stalled agreement.
“I think the Biden administration desperately wants a deal, and unfortunately they’ve demonstrated they’re willing to concede virtually anything, even if it jeopardizes the safety and security of Israel, and even if it jeopardizes the safety and security of the United States,” he said.
“I was encouraged that just a week ago, I forced to vote on the Senate floor, demanding that terrorism sanctions remain in place on the IRGC,” Cruz continued, referring to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. “And we won an overwhelming bipartisan victory. The vast majority of senators, both Republicans and Democrats, voted for my amendment, insisting sanctions remain. I hope that stalls this deal. That being said, I think the Biden White House desperately wants a deal at almost any price.”
The Texas senator went on to say, “The Biden administration had Russia negotiate the deal, Russia as our enemy, Iran as our enemy, and our enemies are sitting at a table together negotiating a deal that hurts America and hurts Israel.”
As part of the deal, the Biden administration made concessions “for over 10 billion dollars in subsidies for the Russian government in the midst of sanctioning Russia over this war in Ukraine,” said Cruz. “It made no sense. But what ultimately appears to have stalled the deal is Iran’s demands that the administration delist the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the leading terrorist organization on the face of the planet.”
He said that the IRGC has murdered more than 600 American servicemen and women. “It is an active terrorist organization,” he said. “Just a few weeks ago, Secretary of State Tony Blinken testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. I asked him if the reports were true that the State Department was currently spending over $2 million a month providing defense for former secretary of state Mike Pompeo and other senior officials because Iran is actively trying to murder them, because Iran has paid to put a hit on them.
“The secretary of state confirmed that we are spending over two million a month in taxpayer funds,” Cruz said. “I also asked if the reports were true, that in the negotiations, the Biden State Department asked Iran, ‘Would you stop trying to murder former senior US officials?’ and Iran responded, ‘No, we will not stop trying to murder them. We will continue trying to murder them.’ Secretary Blinken didn’t deny that.
“I asked, ‘How do you sit down and negotiate with someone who tells you they are actively trying to murder former US senior officials?’ I asked Tony Blinken and I said, ‘You would agree, trying to murder the US Secretary of State is a pretty big deal.’ And Tony was forced to laugh and agree. It is only because Iran’s demands are so outrageous that the deal has been stalled,” Cruz opined.
Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) told the Post that he supports getting back into the deal, “but I don’t think the administration is that optimistic right now.”
“I very much want to deprive Iran of a nuclear weapon, and I think the JCPOA did that. And I think getting out of the JCPOA was a big mistake,” said Kaine, referring to the nuclear deal by its acronym. Asked if he supported delisting the IRGC, Kaine said, “It would be better if we could get into the deal without it, but the administration is still trying to figure that out.”