Sen. Cruz to Ambassador Sherman: ‘The Biden Administration Has Consistently Demonstrated Weakness and Appeasement Towards Iran.’ ‘The Ayatollah Has Declared Open Season on the United States and Our Interests’




WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today questioned Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on the Biden administration’s rush to dismantle pressure against the Iranian regime and the subsequent escalation by the regime against the U.S. and our allies. Read excerpts of his questioning below.

WATCH: Sen. Cruz: ‘The Biden Admin Has Consistently Demonstrated Weakness and Appeasement Towards Iran’

In his line of questioning, Sen. Cruz said:

“Ambassador Sherman, as you and I have discussed at length, I have very deep concerns with the operations approach to Iran. I believe the Biden administration has consistently demonstrated weakness and appeasement towards Iran. And I believe that weakness and appeasement only invites further conflict and further risk of loss of human life. In the last six months, the Ayatollah has declared open season on the United States and our interests. The Iranians have attacked American forces repeatedly and killed a U.S. military contractor. They have tried to conduct terrorism on U.S. soil, even going so far as attempting kidnapping of an American journalist on American soil, sending an Iranian kidnap team to our country. They have launched attack after attack on our Arab allies. They have launched multiple attacks on civilian vessels, including an attack on an Israeli ship, and killed citizens from two close U.S. allies, Great Britain and Romania. And in just the last few hours, their reports of yet more ships being hit by Iranian minds.

“Meanwhile, the Biden administration has, again and again, declined to respond to these attacks. And worse, the Biden administration has revoked terrorism sanctions against Iran’s terrorist proxies in Yemen. Your administration has removed Iranian officials from sanctions. You’ve dialed back enforcement of oil sanctions, including violations by the Chinese Communist Party. You’ve unlocked Iranian accounts worth billions of dollars to allow Iran to pay down debts, and pointedly you have repeatedly declined to respond to Iranian attacks against our troops and haven’t imposed a single new sanction. Why is it that the Biden administration has not responded and responded forcefully to these repeated Iranian attacks?”

Ms. Sherman responded:

“Senator, you and I, as you note, have an ongoing discussion about how best to ensure that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon, that it stops its state sponsorship of terrorism, that it stops its malign behavior in the region, that it stops putting our allies and partners at risk. We both have the same objective. That is to ensure that our people, and those of our partners and allies are protected, and to ensure that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon and stops its malign behavior. So we are in agreement on the objective. We have a disagreement about the means. I do not agree with some of what you have put on the table. I believe the Biden administration has had maximum sanctions.”

Sen. Cruz continued:

“Name one sanction you’ve imposed on Iran.”

Ms. Sherman responded:

“We have added additional entities on an ongoing basis as we have the evidentiary information about those entities.”

Sen. Cruz asked:

“Is your strategy working? Are they stopping the attacks, or are they scaling them up?”

Ms. Sherman responded:

“Senator, nothing has stopped the attacks by Iran. The killing of Qasem Soleimani did not deter the Iranians from attacks.”

Sen. Cruz continued:

“Now, is the reason that you haven’t responded-do you lack the authorization to respond?”

Ms. Sherman responded:

“We do not lack the authorization to respond. And the President has taken strikes, both in February and in June, against Iranian-backed militia. So, Senator, I think we probably will not come to an agreement on this, on how best to approach Iran. But I do appreciate that we have the same objective.”

Sen. Cruz concluded:

“So the debate Congress is having over the 2002 AUMF, I very much support Congress reasserting its authority over the war-making authority of our government. I think that is an important constitutional authority. But I worry that this debate is occurring in the context of the Biden administration’s embrace of Iran, and the Ayatollah, and that the repeal of the AUMF will be used as justification for continuing to go soft on Iran. […]”