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Sen. Cruz on Fox News’ ‘Hannity’: Taking out Soleimani Has Made America Safer

January 8, 2020

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Tuesday appeared on Fox News' ‘Hannity' where he discussed Iran's missile attack at military bases in Iraq and the United States' successful mission to take out Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF) and a designated Tier I terrorist. Sen. Cruz is leading a resolution in the Senate to honor the members of the military and intelligence community who participated in that mission. Excerpts from the interview are below.

On President Trump's bold and decisive action to keep Americans safer:

"Iran is exceptionally dangerous. And if you look at Soleimani, he was the most dangerous terrorist in the world. The Department of Defense has told us that he was directly responsible for the deaths of at least 603 U.S. servicemen and women. He had directed terror groups across the globe, including Hamas, including Hezbollah, targeting Americans, targeting civilians. And taking him out has made America safer."

On Democrats playing political games and refusal to recognize a major national security win:

"When you see Democrats in the media lighting their hair on fire and saying we're headed to World War III, this is hysteria driven by the fact that they hate Donald Trump because it used to be the case that we could all come together and say that when there's a terrorist who's targeting Americans -- in this case, Soleimani -- had just directed an attack on the U.S. embassy in recent days, that taking out a terrorist targeting Americans is a good thing."

On protecting American troops and preventing another extended land battle in the Middle East:

"Now, as we look at this missile attack tonight, we see the Ayatollah Khamenei striking back and targeting America -- targeting our bases. [...] I commend President Trump for following principles of peace through strength. But at the same time, we're not going to be sending our sons and daughters into harm's way for an extended land battle in the Middle East."

On America's national security strategy and the progress President Trump has made in standing up to Iran:

"If you look at Iran policy, I think you've seen a dramatic shift. Under Barack Obama, as you noted, the policy was appeasement. The policy under the disastrous Iranian nuclear deal under Obama was to give over a hundred billion dollars to Iran. They literally flew $1.7 billion 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 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.

"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. [...]

"And so, the effects of these sanctions and the economic pressure, it's having a real effect. But we need to stand up to -- the Ayatollah Khamenei is a radical religious zealot. He hates America. He literally chants ‘death to America.' And he calls Israel the ‘little Satan' and America the ‘great Satan.'

"The way to do with threats like that is not through weakness but rather strength."

Watch the full interview here.

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