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Dick Cheney: Approval of this agreement will not prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. Along with a pathway to a nuclear arsenal, President Obama’s agreement will provide Iran with funds and weapons the regime will use for the support of terror, dominance of the Middle East, and furtherance of Tehran’s efforts to destroy Israel, threaten Arab regimes, and prevent the United States from defending our allies and our interests in the Persian Gulf and beyond. With the removal of restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile program, this agreement will give Iran the means to launch a nuclear attack on the U.S. homeland. I know of no nation in history that has agreed to guarantee that the means of its own destruction will be in the hands of another nation, particularly one that is hostile. What President Obama is asking the United States Congress to do is unique — historically and dangerously unique. The results may be catastrophic.
A far better deal is still possible, and it begins with reasserting our original objectives on each of these matters: Iran must halt its enrichment and reprocessing activities. It must halt its ballistic missile activities. It must provide a full and complete accounting of all its past nuclear activities. It must allow complete go anywhere/anytime access, including at military sites. There should be no sanctions relief until Iran has fulfilled these obligations. If Iran chooses not to do so, they must understand that the United States stands ready to take military action to ensure they do not acquire a nuclear weapon.
That is how a serious negotiation plays out. That’s how a self-respecting power, with everything in the balance, asserts its vital interests. Insisting on key non-negotiable points and maintaining a credible threat of military force are the indispensable elements of serious diplomacy over the Iranian nuclear program. That is what the administration should have done all along.