Cruz: Boost Israeli aid against the Iranian menace

In a strong op-ed, former presidential candidate demands Obama reverse 'failure' and fully fund Jewish state's defense for Iranian missiles.

Ari Yashar ,

Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who recently ended his presidential campaign, wrote a strong op-ed in the New York Times on Friday in which he demanded an increase in defense aid to Israel in light of Iran's ballistic missile tests and open threats.

Cruz began by noting that Iran on Monday announced it conducted another ballistic missile test of a rocket with a 2,000 kilometer (1,250 mile) range that is said to be "without any error" in its accuracy. The missile would put Israel in reach, as well as the entire Middle East.

Iran did not announce if the rocket had "Israel should be erased from the map" written on it in Hebrew as other recent missiles tested by the leading state sponsor of terror had inscribed on them.

"But it hardly matters. The mullahs' objectives are plain enough for anyone with eyes to see: The Iranian regime is continuing its determined march towards not only a nuclear weapon, but also the means to launch it, first against Israel and then against the United States," warned Cruz.

He noted that despite US President Barack Obama's claims of a "more moderate course" under Iranian President Hassan Rouhani since he took office in 2013, "the regime in Tehran has been frank and open about its continued hostility toward America and Israel."

At least four ballistic missile tests have taken place since the controversial nuclear deal last July, he pointed out, with Iran saying it has received $100 billion in unfrozen assets from the deal. That cash windfall has led to Tehran finally buying the advanced S-300 air defense system from Russia.

"Just last week, in the course of receiving an official delegation from the Gaza-based militant movement Palestinian Islamic Jihad - which the State Department designated a terrorist group in 1997, for its efforts to destroy Israel - the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reiterated that the prime directive of the Islamic Republic remains, as it has been since 1979, to wage war against the United States and Israel," noted Cruz.

"The mullahs' policy is, by their own admission, unchanged...the only thing that is changing now is the potential scale of this violence, as they seek to replace truck bombs and roadside explosive devices with the most destructive weapons on the planet and the means to deliver them."

The senator called to "bolster our defenses and those of our allies," promising in the coming months to make sure that "President Obama's failure to sufficiently fund Israel's missile defense programs in his latest budget request is reversed."

"Shockingly, even after admitting that the nuclear deal with Iran places Israel in greater danger and making assurances that support for the Jewish state would be increased, the president could not find a single dollar to put towards procurement for the David's Sling or Arrow-3 missile defense systems, which are being jointly developed by the United States and Israel."

The two missile defense systems can block long-range missiles, such as those that Iran is developing in an open threat on the Jewish state's very existence.

"Rather than starving these programs, Congress should seize this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to Israel's security and so to our own. That would send the leaders of the Islamic Republic an unmistakable signal that there are at least some in Washington who still take them at their word, and will act accordingly," concluded Cruz.