Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz cheer Iran’s release of four Americans but say the move was long overdue. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
Trump, Cruz weigh in on Iran
ROUGH CUT – NO REPORTER NARRATION
STORY: Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz, welcomed reports that Iran freed four Americans in a prisoner swap, but said the move was long overdue.
The four freed in Iran include Washington Post bureau chief Jason Rezaian and two Iranian-Americans arrested while visiting relatives: Christian pastor Saeed Abedini and former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati. There were conflicting reports about the identity of the fourth
“This should have been done three, four years ago,” Donald Trump said at a campaign stop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. .
Ted Cruz, a conservative senator from Texas and one of the Republican frontrunners said, “I am thrilled and we are all giving prayers of thanksgiving.”
Cruz said he was withholding judgment momentarily on the deal struck by the Obama administration.
“There may be some ugly, core parts of this deal that we don’t know about yet…but right now I give thanks that the Americans are coming back and this should have happened a long time ago,” Cruz said.
The nuclear deal is also viewed with deep suspicion by U.S. allies in the Middle East including Israel and Saudi Arabia. It is supported by Washington’s European allies, who joined Obama earlier in his presidency in making sanctions far tighter as part of a joint strategy to force Tehran to negotiate.
The Obama administration says the deal reached last July offered the best possible prospect of ensuring Iran would not develop a nuclear weapon, and could never have been achieved without the support of allies, which was always contingent on a pledge to lift sanctions once Iran complied.