Among five key actions he would take on his first day in the Oval Office, Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said at the weekend, are two foreign policy priorities – “rip up and rescind this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal,” and start the process of moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Both would be designed to send powerful messages to the world, he told the Red State gathering in Atlanta at the weekend.
“In many ways the most important thing in this election, both in the primary and in the general, is the threat of a nuclear Iran. It’s the one threat that could murder millions of Americans.”
Cruz said he could not wait to go up against Democratic contender Hillary Clinton in a campaign debate, “and to make clear, if you vote for Hillary you are voting for Iran to have nuclear weapons.”
“And if I’m elected president, under no circumstances will a nation lead by a theocratic zealot who leads chants of ‘Death to America’ be allowed to acquire the weapons that could murder millions of Americans.”
On the other first day foreign policy pledge, Cruz said that ordering the move of the embassy to the Israeli capital would deliver to the world a statement that “We will stand by our friends and allies, no matter the criticism from the intelligentsia at the United Nations.”
He noted that presidential candidates over the years, both Republican and Democrat, have promised to move the embassy, but once in office have backed away from the pledge.
Cruz vowed to be different.
“I’m going to do exactly what I told you I would do.”
U.S. law in 1995 called for the embassy to be relocated from Tel Aviv, its current location, by 1999. But three consecutive presidents, loath to take a step that would infuriate the Islamic world and the U.N., have failed to do so, invoking a renewable, six-month security waiver built into the law.
Presidential hopefuls from both parties, including George W. Bush, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and John McCain, said while campaigning that they supported relocating the embassy to Jerusalem.
Candidate Barack Obama was an exception, although he did declare in a 2008 speech that “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.” (After an Arab outcry, the senator for Illinois backtracked hours later, telling CNN, “Well, obviously, it’s going to be up to the parties to negotiate a range of these issues. And Jerusalem will be part of those negotiations.”)
The Palestinians want Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state. Israel’s claim to the city, which it says dates back some 3,000 years, to the reign of the biblical King David, is not recognized by the international community
In his speech in Atlanta, Cruz outlined five pledges, should he win the presidency, for his first day in office in January 2017.
In addition to those relating to Iran and Israel, he said he would rescind every “illegal and unconstitutional” executive action taken by President Obama, order a federal probe into Planned Parenthood and prosecute any criminal violations that are uncovered – in reference to the aborted baby organ harvesting scandal – and instruct Department of Justice and other agencies immediately to stop persecuting religious liberty in the United States.