Ted Cruz drops 100 megatons of hyperbole on Iran

At a recent Republican forum organized by the Koch Brothers through Freedom Works, Senator and possible Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz announced that the Iran deal President Obama is working on is “the worst negotiation in the history of mankind.”

Yes. Forget about the Versailles Treaty, the Munich Agreement, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact or the terms of my student loan, what Obama is doing with Iran now will lead to the most odious agreement in the history of everything ever!

Cruz went on to say that if the negotiations were to continue that soon Iran will launch nuclear strikes against “Tel Aviv, New York or Los Angeles.”

This despite Iran having suspended high levels of uranium enrichment for more than a year and according the the Arms Control Center Iran’s longest range missile has a reach of only 1,000km. New York is over 9,000km away and Tel Aviv is a little more than 1,500km away. In short, even if they had a nuclear weapon they don’t have a way of getting it to their targets.

To be fair, Iran has been testing missiles with ranges of up to 2,200km and their threatening statements against the West and calling for the destruction of Israel are unacceptable, however perhaps the more tempered approach of Rand Paul rather than the jingoist one of Ted Cruz is what the current situation calls for.

At the same Freedom Works forum Rand Paul responded to the Iran issue and specifically Ted Cruz’s alarmist stance

“Are you ready to send ground troops into Iran? Are you ready to bomb them? Are you ready to send in 100,000 troops?” asked Paul. “I’m a big fan of trying to exert and trying the diplomatic option as long as we can. If it fails, I will vote to resume sanctions and I would vote to have new sanctions,” he said.

For two years the Obama Administration has engaged in talks with Iran and that has met with some successes and some setbacks. While Iran is still allowed to enrich uranium, they are only doing so at 5 per cent of U-235 and 90 per cent enrichment is what is required for a nuclear weapon.

Clearly both in terms of potency and in terms of follow through, the Iranian nuclear program has a long way to go, which makes Rand Paul’s steady approach to the issue seem logical right now. However, as we approach the Presidential primaries, people are more likely to flock to the War-Drum than the Peace Pipe.

[Think Progress] [CNN] [Arms Control Center]