As Iran continues to move aggressively towards a nuclear weapons program and threatens to close the Strait of Hormuz, our nation must take two very important actions.
We must ensure that Iran knows we will not be blackmailed into easing sanctions or accepting their nuclear weapons program. A nuclear-armed Iran would quickly become one of the biggest threats to stability worldwide, and would have significant implications for our allies in the region. We must strengthen sanctions and make certain they have teeth -- empty rhetoric does us no good.
Less than 1,000 miles away from Iran is our strongest ally in the region, and one of our strongest allies anywhere - Israel. It is most certainly understandable that Israel has legitimate concern for its security, defense, and people, and we must reassert in no uncertain terms that the United States stands firmly with Israel. I signed a letter to the President today asking him to do just that, and I will continue pushing to see he does so. Israel has been our strongest ally in an extremely volatile part of the world, and backing away when things get tough is not the right thing to do -- it is not the American thing to do.
We are facing very uncertain times in the Middle East, with the Syrian government becoming ever more desperate to retain control, recent revolutions in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia and the ending of the U.S. presence in Iraq. Making our policies known and our intentions clear is absolutely paramount moving forward.