- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, said he believes the ongoing situation with Iran calls to mind the 1938 deal granting Adolf Hitler parts of Czechoslovakia in an ultimately futile effort to halt the dictator’s encroachment.

“I believe we are hearing echoes of history. I believe we are at a moment like Munich in 1938,” Mr. Cruz told radio host Hugh Hewitt. “The problem with Iran, it is led by theocratic zealots who glorify death and suicide, and my view, if the Ayatollah Khamenei acquired a nuclear weapon, the odds are unacceptably high he would use that nuclear weapon either in the skies of Tel Aviv or New York or Los Angeles. And we should not be willing to risk that global cataclysm.”

Mr. Cruz was one of 47 Republican senators who signed onto a letter to Iranian leaders warning that any brokered deal over the country’s nuclear weapons program could simply be undone by the next president — a move the White House and congressional Democrats have blasted as an attempt to undermine President Obama and the ongoing negotiations.

“I believe fundamentally President Obama and his senior team does not understand the nature of the regime,” Mr. Cruz said. “I believe they think it is perfectly acceptable for Iran to have nuclear weapons and engage in containment. And they don’t appreciate the radical religious zealotry.”

Mr. Obama recently told CBS News he’d be willing to walk away from a deal if certain conditions aren’t met.

“The president will be expecting Iran to make very specific commitments and very serious commitments as it relates to limiting their nuclear program to only peaceful purposes, to coming into compliance with generally accepted international standards for a peaceful nuclear program and submitting to a historically stringent set of inspections to verify their compliance with the agreement. So we’re making very specific commitments that Iran will have to make in the context of these conversations,” White House press secretary Joshua Earnest said Wednesday.

Mr. Cruz, a potential 2016 GOP presidential contender, also said that “what we are witnessing today are the logical fruits of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy of leading from behind” — a reference to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“In the next year, we may see Secretary Clinton try to run away from the Obama record, because it is substantively indefensible,” he said. “But when it comes to foreign policy, she was present at the creation. She was charged with designing and implementing the strategy of leading from behind. And what is happening in Iran, Secretary Clinton has an opportunity to stand up and speak.”

He also said what Mrs. Clinton has admitted about her use of a private email system as secretary of state “raises serious questions about whether she violated federal law, or even potentially committed criminal conduct. There needs to be a fair and an impartial investigation.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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