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ICYMI: Rubio Joins America’s Newsroom
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined America’s Newsroom to discuss the American service members killed in Jordan, Iran’s sponsoring of militia groups in the Middle East, and American hostages in Israel. See below for highlights and watch the full interview on YouTube and Rumble.
On the murder of three Americans service members by Iran-backed militias:
“All the way back to October or November of last year, I said this was going to happen. I said unless we made it very clear to Iran that they would be held directly responsible for the attacks of these groups, these groups are going to attack. The attacks would spread. They would become lethal. Eventually [the Biden Administration] would lose Americans. Two months later, that’s what happened.
“For Iran, this is very easy. They have these groups that they supply weapons to. They supply targeting information. These groups don’t have satellites. These groups don’t have targeting information. They know where to hit. They have guided munitions. All of that logistical support comes from the Iranians. For them, it’s easy. They have another group do the work, and they get all the credit and none of the blame. In essence, they can hide behind it.
“Why are they doing it? Obviously, they want to inflict pain on America because of our support for Israel. But the other underlying thing is they want us to leave the region. They don’t want 2,000 American troops fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq. They don’t want that. They don’t want us to have an outpost in Jordan. They want to drive us from the region. They think the more Americans they can threaten and kill, the likelier it is that we will leave.
“We have to reestablish deterrence, which is very difficult to do because Iran doesn’t care how many members of these groups die. Deterrence has to be something Iran cares about losing, something Iran is worried about. It’s a very delicate balance, and it’s very difficult to reestablish deterrence if you never had it or once you have lost it, especially if there’s no belief that the president will do anything about it. I wouldn’t talk about tactics. I don’t think it’s appropriate to telegraph that. But we’re going to have to reestablish deterrence, or we’re going to see more strikes against Americans throughout the region and in other parts of the world, potentially.”
On Iran’s control over the militias attacking U.S. bases:
“One of the proxy groups announced that they were going to stand down because there’s these ongoing negotiations about the U.S. leaving Iraq. But that’s not the group that attacked us in Jordan.
“It would be easy for [Iran] to deter these groups. These groups don’t exist without them. They don’t just provide the weapons. They don’t just provide the training. They provide the logistical and targeting support. These bases are not big places. The reason why they know where they are and have the coordinates and the targeting information, is because it’s being supplied by the [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps].
“It’s all being coordinated by Iran. Someone else may be pushing the trigger, but it’s their weapons, money, targeting information, and directive. These groups are responsive to Iran. They created them. They are the ones that are holding their hand every step of the way.”
On negotiations to free Hamas’s hostages:
“You’re trying to get people freed. You want attention being paid to them. You don’t want people to forget that there are hostages. But you also don’t want to be out there doing this in public, for a variety of different reasons.
“These people take hostages because they know [the United States] values life. How many of their fighters die? They’re willing to sacrifice them. To them, it’s a martyr’s death, and it’s glorious. They know we care about life. That’s a fundamental thing to understand here. When your enemy does not value human life, including their own, and they believe it’s glorious to die in the name of their cause, you have a very difficult enemy to confront.
“We do value human life. We want every one of those hostages released, and every day they’re in captivity and abused is a reminder of the evil that we are confronting, not just [the United States] and Israel, but with groups like these all around the world.”