Dick Cheney descends further into self-parody, hints Iran deal will trigger nuclear war

Ex-veep: Deal leaves us closer to "use of nuclear weapons than we’ve been at any time since Hiroshima and Nagasaki"

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published July 15, 2015 2:39PM (EDT)

Dick Cheney                   (AP/Eric Gay)
Dick Cheney (AP/Eric Gay)

Former Vice President Dick Cheney reacted to the Iranian nuclear deal with his usual doom and gloom on Tuesday, claiming that the deal brings the world the closest to using a nuclear weapon since 1945.

Cheney told Fox News' Sean Hannity that he was "disturbed" by what he called President Obama's "lie," a multinational deal aimed at limiting Iran's nuclear program on Tuesday, arguing that the deal will lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

This deal "will, in fact, I think put us to closer to use — actual use of nuclear weapons than we’ve been at any time since Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II,” Cheney declared.

After Hannity asked him about "a day that will live in infamy," Cheney lamented the signing of the landmark deal, saying, "I can't help but shake my head":

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 to closer to use — actual use of nuclear weapons than we’ve been at any time since Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II.

Hannity chimed in, "I guess you could really put the Obama seal on these nuclear weapons because I think now it's pretty much inevitable."

Cheney cited America's past record as a nuclear proliferation watchdog to predict the failure of this deal:

I don't think we know everything there is to know about the nuclear program in Iran. 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 under way now that we don't know about.

And Cheney said he was certain that this deal will lead to an nuclear arms race in the region, again citing past U.S. foreign policy failures:

I think 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 at this point they can rely upon the United States for protection or for coverage by an expanded U.S. military capability isn't credible anymore.

For one thing, we haven't kept our word to them in the past.

Cheney, however, laid most of the fault on President Obama:

 I try to understand what it is Barack Obama thinks he's achieving here, why he looks at the world in 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 of influence in that part of the world has been dramatically undermined.


He's not a man of his word. He's not a man who could 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. They're going to get their own.


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.

Watch the Cheney-Hannity lovefest below, via Media Matters:

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

MORE FROM Sophia Tesfaye

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Dick Cheney Hiroshima Iran Deal Iranian Nuclear Program Nuclear Deal Video