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22 Sep, 2019 20:00

Didn’t he learn what deterrence is? Cruz insists Iran wants to nuke American cities, puzzles Twitter

Didn’t he learn what deterrence is? Cruz insists Iran wants to nuke American cities, puzzles Twitter

Ted Cruz insists Tehran’s dream is to nuke American cities and that the Iran nuclear deal is to blame for the attack on Saudi oil facilities. The argument was mocked for making no sense, but the hawkish senator doubled down.

The Texas legislator, one of the most vocal cheerleaders of Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran, took to the pages of the New York Post on Friday to warn the public of the imminent danger. More international sanctions against Iran may soon be dropped under the 2015 nuclear deal, which means Tehran is drawing closer to obtaining nuclear weapons which “could incinerate American cities with a single flash of light.”

America must act now and invoke the so-called snapback mechanism outlined the nuclear deal to keep the sanctions in place and also cut Iran out from the global financial system, Cruz said.

If you are puzzled by this line of argument, you are not alone. After all, how could Trump use the nuclear deal, from which he withdrew in the first place, to cudgel Iran more? And what could Tehran hope to gain by killing millions of Americans even if it had the capability to do so?

The suggestion that Iran’s ambition is to do in New York what the Americans did in Hiroshima and Nagasaki is hardly new for Cruz, but it comes as tensions in the Persian Gulf have intensified after Washington and Riyadh claimed Tehran was responsible for the attack on the Saudi oil facilities. The op-ed was criticized by a number of people, among which the senator singled out Nicholas Miller, an assistant professor at Dartmouth College, who incidentally conducts research in nuclear proliferation.

“I’m curious, what does he think Ayatollah Khamenei means when he refers to USA as ‘The Great Satan’ & chants ‘Death to America’? Here’s an idea: Don’t give him billions of $$ to find out,” Cruz tweeted.

Cruz’s outburst drew quite a few snide remarks on Twitter. Some said he must have missed class when they were teaching about how nuclear deterrence works. Or he simply cannot imagine that the Iranian leadership learned a lesson from the examples of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi. The two leaders dropped their nuclear ambitions only to find themselves later on the receiving end of the US military machine.

The UN nuclear watchdog said Tehran kept to its obligations under the nuclear deal for over a year after Washington withdrew. And to answer the senator’s question, Iran’s supreme leader means: “death to the US’ policies, death to arrogance,” according to Khamenei himself. But these details seem to have little effect on the Texas senator.

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