Rep. Ted Cruz said the missiles launched at an air base housing U.S. troops on Tuesday were “in a very real sense” paid for by money sent to Iran by the Obama administration.
Cruz appeared on Fox News’ “Hannity” later in the evening and argued that foreign policy toward Iran had dramatically shifted under President Donald Trump.
“Under Barack Obama, as you noted, the policy was appeasement. The policy under the disastrous Iran nuclear deal under Obama was to give over $100 billion to Iran,” Cruz told Fox News host Sean Hannity.
“In a very real sense, the missiles that we saw fired on U.S. servicemen and women tonight were paid for by the billions the Obama administration flooded the ayatollah with,” he said, “If history teaches anything, it’s don’t give billions of dollars to people who hate you and want to kill you.”
The Obama administration was heavily criticized by conservatives for secretly arranging in Jan. 2018 to deliver $400 million in cash to Iran as part of the Iran nuclear deal.
The U.S. also granted Tehran access to some of its own frozen assets.
A high-end estimate by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2015 pegged the amount of money obtained by Iran in the deal at $56 billion.
Cruz told Hannity that Iran remained “exceptionally dangerous.”
But the Texas Republican also said the notion that the U.S. would become entangled in a new war in the Middle East was “hysteria” promoted by Democrats and the media, and motivated by antagonism toward Trump.
Amid escalating tensions with the U.S., Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on an Iraqi base housing American soldiers, the Pentagon confirmed on Tuesday.
More than two dozens missiles targeted two Iraqi military bases, including Ain al Assad air base in Western Iraq on Thursday, the Department of Defense said in a statement.
No U.S. casualties were immediately reported, according to U.S. officials.
Trump responded late on Tuesday, assuring Americans that “All is well!”
All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2020
“Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well-equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning,” Trump tweeted.
Earlier on Tuesday, the head of Iran’s security council said the Middle Eastern nation was considering 13 “revenge scenarios” in response to a U.S. attack that killed Qassem Soleimani.
Soleimani, 62, was killed by an air strike at the Baghdad airport Friday along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a powerful Iraqi militia commander, and others. Trump ordered the operation following an attack on the U.S. embassy compound in Baghdad led by an Iranian-backed militia.
The Pentagon said Soleimani approved the storming of the embassy and was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans and the wounding of thousands more in Iraq. He spent decades building a network of militant groups across the Middle East. Last spring, the State Department designated the Revolutionary Guards a foreign terrorist organization.