Cheney: Iran Deal Puts Us Closer to ‘Actual Use’ of Nukes Than at Any Time Since WWII

Former Vice President Dick Cheney argued the Iran nuclear deal would “put us closer to the…actual use of nuclear weapons than we’ve been at any time since Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II” on Tuesday’s “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel.

Cheney said, “I can’t help but just shake my head, Sean, at what we’re seeing here. We’ve seen a repetition of the same kind of operation with respect to other issues. The one thing that really disturbed me was when he said we have ‘stopped the proliferation [spread] of nuclear weapons.’ That’s a lie. That’s just a — the fact of the matter is, that the situation we’ve got when Iran ends up with a nuclear weapon, that is bound to lead others in the region to protect themselves and in effect to acquire their own capability. I think that was one of the biggest problems we had when we were in office that we were concerned about, was nuclear proliferation. We’d seen the Iraqis in ’81 with a nuclear reactor. The Israelis took it out. In ’91, they had a second program, we took it out in Desert Storm. When we took down Saddam Hussein in ’03, Gaddafi gave up his nuclear materials, and that let us wrap up AQ Khan, etc, etc. There’s long history there. What Obama has done, has in effect, sanctioned the acquisition by Iran of nuclear capability. And it can be a few years down the road. It doesn’t make any difference. It’s a matter of months until we’re going to see a situation where other people feel they have to defend themselves by acquiring their own capability. And that will, in fact, I think, put us closer to the use — actual use of nuclear weapons than we’ve been at any time since Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II.”

He continued, “The fact of the matter is, our capabilities have never been perfect in terms of being able to read other nations and what they were doing. Usually, we have historically underestimated the nuclear efforts of others. And I think this is a situation where we don’t have the kind of access we need to be able to get in and know what is going on from a covert standpoint. They’ve had covert programs in the past, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised that they have things underway now that we don’t know about.”

Cheney further argued, “The fact of the matter is that once you get to the situation where you’ve got Iran with its threats to everybody else, its continued efforts to undermine and destabilize other governments in the region, I don’t think there’s any question that there are going to be others in the area, a lot of them friends of ours, who feel they have no choice. They can no longer trust the United States, for example, they’ve stood by and watched as Obama has gone through all kinds of statements that turned out not to be true. And the notion that at this point that they can rely upon the United States for protection or for coverage by an expanded US military capability isn’t credible anymore. For one thing, we haven’t kept our word to them in the past. Secondly, we’re dramatically reducing our own capabilities. Obama keeps talking about getting rid of all nuclear weapons. He’s already significantly reduced our capabilities there. … He’s not man of his word. He’s not a man who can be trusted. And I think our allies, who find their very survival at question here, there isn’t any way they’re going to rely upon Barack Obama for safety and security.”

Cheney further stated, “There’s one interesting thing in the agreement today, this is the last sentence in the first paragraph. It says Iran reaffirms that ‘under no circumstances will Iran ever seek develop or acquire any nuclear weapons.’ Now, who the heck believes that? It’s just beyond me. I try to understand what it is Barack Obama thinks he’s achieving here. Why he looks at the world in [a] different light than anybody else does. But he clearly does not understand, or chooses to ignore reality, and that’s going to cost us dearly as a nation. And it clearly has put us in a position where our capacity to influence events in that part of the world has been dramatically undermined. We are not only clearing the way for Iran to have nuclear weapons. We’re going to send them about $140 billion in cash, lift the sanctions. They’ll be able to be more aggressive than they’ve ever been with respect to Quds Force. The agreement itself raises the sanctions, eliminates the sanctions on the Quds Force and on the IRGC. One of the interesting things is the Quds Force was sanctioned originally for terrorist activity. You go back and look at the Treasury Department press release when it was done in about ’07. It was because of their support, material support for terrorism in the form of the Taliban, didn’t have anything to do with a nuclear program. But they are now being taken from the sanctions list as part of this overall agreement, which supposedly doesn’t deal with terror. No, it just provides a heck of a lot of money for the world’s leading terrorist organization to go out and do more of what they’ve done in the past.”

He concluded, ” I cannot — you ask the key question, Sean, and that is what the hell is the president thinking of when he thinks this is a great deal? And I frankly — I simply do not understand, I haven’t met anybody who can explain it to me.” And “the last time I was in the region. It’s been a couple of years ago now, but I visited with a lot of old friends, going back 25 years to Desert Storm. And whether it was Israel or Jordan or Egypt, the Saudis, the Emirates, they all had a similar concern. Their number one concern was Iran. Number two, was their concern about the United States and our misguided policies. But they were much closer to one another on the issues of the day than I’d ever seen them in the past. So, I think it may, in fact, lead them in that direction. But, if you’re Israeli, and you look at the situation, and you see a development that may drive others to seek nuclear weapons, obviously, you’ve dramatically changed Israel’s security situation. They may pay a terrible price for what Barack Obama has done here today.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett