Sen. Ted Cruz warned Thursday that passage of the Iran nuclear agreement in Congress would only facilitate Iran's access to money it can use to fund terrorism around the world.
In an interview with the Washington Examiner, the Texas Republican said if the deal goes through, over $100 billion dollars could flow to radical jihadists as a result of sanctions relief.
"If this deal goes through, the Obama administration, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, will become the leading global financiers of radical Islamic terrorism," said Cruz. He further criticized the deal for lifting the ballistic missile embargo, claiming it is tantamount to arming a theocratic regime that has pledged to murder Americans.
"In the middle of negotiating this deal, the Ayatollah Khamenei led chants of shouting 'death to America'," stated Cruz. The 2016 Republican candidate went on to compare Obama to former President Jimmy Carter, charging that Obama has abandoned American hostages in Iran.
On Wednesday, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi told reporters that the cases of the "imprisoned citizens" had been discussed with American counterparts during the nuclear talks. Araghchi's admission has been the first confirmation by the Iranians of any talks that may have involved the release of former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, and retired FBI agent Robert Levinson.
"Barack Obama left them in a squalid Iranian hellhole," Cruz said. "Four hostages, Barack Obama cannot even bring himself to utter their names."
Cruz extended his criticism to Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton and called on the media to ask her to say the names of the four Americans being detained in Iran. "If she would be commander in chief of this country, demonstrate leadership. Stand up and speak out," he said. Cruz added that no conversation should have begun without the release of the American hostages.
When asked about the likelihood of Congress stopping the deal, Cruz said it is on the American people to engage their elected officials. But he admitted that blocking the deal ultimately depends on Democrats.
Prior to speaking with the Examiner, Cruz entertained questioning from Code Pink co-founder at a rally protesting the Iran deal for neglecting the American prisoners hosted by Concerned Women of America.