House Minority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) ripped President Obama's Middle East strategy Tuesday as "dangerous" and "misguided." Cantor hit Obama for making critical remarks of Israel Monday and suggesting, in a BBC interview broadcast Tuesday, that Iran has "legitimate energy concerns."
"What I do believe is that Iran has legitimate energy concerns, legitimate aspirations," Obama said.
On Monday President Obama was critical of Israel on National Public Radio. "Part of being a good friend is being honest," he said. "I think there have been times where we are not as honest as we should be about the fact that the current direction, the current trajectory, in the region is profoundly negative, not only for Israeli interests but also U.S. interests."
"I strongly disagree with President Obama's dangerous suggestion that Iran may have some right to nuclear energy." said Cantor in a statement provided to the Huffington Post. "Iran forfeited any right to nuclear energy when it made the decision to illicitly enrich uranium to levels that can be used for nuclear weapons."
He also pushed back on Obama for his critique of Israel, suggesting that Obama favors the Palestinians.
"As Palestinian terror shows no sign of abating, President Obama's insistence that it is in America's best interest to pressure Israel sends the wrong message to the region. Where is the outrage at the Palestinians' continued refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state? Where is the concern for their failure to root out the terrorists in their midst?" he asked. "It is misguided to assume that if we deal with the Israel-Palestinian question, somehow all the problems in the Middle East -- including in Iran -- will be solved."
Iran has vast fossil fuel resources but is short on refining capacity, leaving it vulnerable to swings in energy prices and disruptions as a result of sanctions. The nation contends that it needs nuclear power to give it consistent access to energy.
UPDATE: Media Matters thinks its Cantor's foreign policy that's dangerous.