Rep. Franks: Israel Has A Right To Retaliate If Iran Launches Nuclear Attack On Israel
Israel has a right to launch a retaliatory nuclear strike on Iran if it launches a nuclear attack on Israel, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) said.
"If they’re attacked by a nuclear capability, they have a right to respond," Franks said on C-Span. He is co-chairman of the bipartisan 60-member Congressional Missile Defense Caucus. He also is a member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), and its strategic forces subcommittee that has oversight of missile defense programs.
Iran can launch a missile that, in just 12 to 15 minutes, can hit Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, Franks noted. And, he said, Israel has every right to fear an attack, given that Iran is led by a "lunatic."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has even said that Israel should be wiped from the map, and he has denied that the Holocaust ever occurred. Meanwhile, Iran is acquiring long-range missile capabilities and is producing nuclear materials.
"Israel certainly has the right to defend itself," Franks reasoned. And the United States should help its best friend and ally in the Middle East to do just that.
The United States should maintain a military option to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, he added, and let Iran know in clear terms that the military option is alive.
"The last thing I want in the world is war with Iran," Franks explained. But the obstinate refusal of Iranian leaders to cease their nuclear program may leave no other choice than to take out those nuclear facilities with a military strike, whether that would be conducted by Israel or by U.S. forces, he said.
"Let them [Iranian leaders] know the military option is firmly on the table," he said.
Franks also criticized U.S. Sen. Barak Obama of Illinois, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. Obama has said he would negotiate with Iran, while others have said a rogue state like that shouldn’t be rewarded with a U.S. president dignifying it with face-to-face, top-level negotiations.
Obama is "naive beyond degree," Franks said. Iranians, he said, have absolutely no regard for the West, or for its civilized values as expressed in three United Nations resolutions condemning Iranian nuclear ambitions.