California Republican and member of the House Armed Services Committee, Duncan Hunter, joined C-SPAN’s Washington Journal Wednesday to discuss U.S.-Iranian policy, saying that the U.S. should use tactical nuclear devices rather than putting boots on the ground if it were ever to attack Iran.
“I think people like to toss around the fact that we have to stop them in some way from gaining them this nuclear capability,” he said. “I don't think it’s inevitable but I think if you have to hit Iran, you do it with tactical nuclear devices and set them back a decade or two or three. I think that's the way to do it, with a massive aerial bombardment campaign.”
When asked if war with Iran was inevitable, Hunter responded, “I sure as hell hope not.” Hunter also noted that any aerial bombardment would be a “huge undertaking” and cost “billions and billions of dollars”, but would be vastly preferable to a ground war in Iran. After Iraq and Afghanistan, he said, America “knows its limitations in that area.”
Hunter also expressed his support for a new round of economic sanctions against Iran, an idea that has garnered bipartisan support in both the Senate and House to the frustration of the Obama White House. Hunter criticized the administration’s rejection of new sanctions, saying “Congress should not wait." The current administration, he added, is “so in love the idea of just saying that they did something here, whether it works or not, that they’re blind to reality.”
“I think we should proceed with sanctions to that the Iranians know that the deal offered to them is not an American deal with them – this is a Kerry-Obama deal with them and the rest of Congress is not behind them." The US Senate also still wants to impose sanctions, he said. "It's going to be very hard for them to say – OK, we'll just going to trust Iran and hope that they do the right thing for the first time in 40 years and see what happens.”