Governor Ron DeSantis' (R-FL) announcement to run for President has dominated the news cycle. While much of the coverage has focused on the rivalry between him and former President Donald Trump, one must ask what Gov. DeSantis would do in the Middle East if he became President? In a 2013 interview with The Floridian's Javier Manjarres provides a tentative answer, where Gov. DeSantis spoke of his hardline support for Israel and recognized the threat of Iran in the region.
Additionally, then-Congressman DeSantis criticized then-President Obama for doing little to contain Iran, especially as they sought nuclear capabilities.
"I think for us looking forward, the number one threat, to me, is right up here and is Iran and their development of a nuclear weapon. I am pretty confident that this President does not see that as an existential threat. I mean, he says it's a threat and unacceptable that they have a weapon, but he really hasn't done anything to put any type of "oomph" behind those words," said Rep. DeSantis.
Moreover, DeSantis cited Iran's extremely hostile stance towards Israel, refusing to recognize their sovereignty, denying the Holocaust, and former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's desire to "wipe Israel off the map."
"So I think looking at Iran, Israel may feel that they need to take action against some of these nuclear reactors. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said, "Hey, I want to wipe Israel off the map." And so if you're Israel and you're a small country, you know not only is this country hostile to you, but they don't even accept your very existence, they deny the Holocaust; you can understand why they may want to take action against one of those reactors because that could very easily be directed at them," stated DeSantis.
.@GovRonDeSantis has always supported Israel's right to exist.https://t.co/Q5Je1YkYSl
"If they (Israel) feel the need to do that, I think people in the United States need to stand with them and say that they have the right to defend themselves."#Israel #FlPol pic.twitter.com/VncvmIGrpd
— The Floridian (@Floridianpress) May 26, 2023
As a result, DeSantis believed actions taken by Israel against Iran would be self-defense, and the American people would support the move. After all, "They should not have to wait until Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does what he says he's going to do."
"If they (Israel) feel the need to do that, I think people in the United States need to stand with them and say that they have the right to defend themselves. They should not have to wait until Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does what he says he's going to do. I mean, history shows when these guys do this, when they exhibit a course of conduct, that they're likely to continue to do that unless challenged," DeSantis concluded.