Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz are blasting the nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers, likening it to the Munich agreement signed in and which paved the way to World War II.
The harsh criticism of the deal came in a joint op-ed the two wrote for The Wall Street Journal on Friday.
The two write that “despite the explosive spread of terrorist ideology and organizations, the establishment of an Islamic State caliphate in the heart of the Middle East, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and increasing threats from Iran, China, North Korea and Russia, President [Barack] Obama has departed from this 75-year, largely bipartisan tradition of ensuring America’s pre-eminence and strength.”
Obama, the Cheneys argue, “has abandoned Iraq, leaving a vacuum that is being tragically and ominously filled by our enemies. He is on course to forsake Afghanistan as well.”
“For seven decades, both Republican and Democratic presidents have understood the importance of ensuring the supremacy of America’s nuclear arsenal,” they charge. “President Obama seems not to. He has advocated cutting our nuclear force in the naïve hope that this will persuade rogue regimes to do the same. He has imposed limits on our ability to modernize and maintain nuclear weapons. He has reduced the nation’s missile-defense capabilities.”
“Allowing the Iranians to continue to enrich uranium and agreeing to the removal of all restraints on their nuclear program in a few short years virtually guarantees that they will become a nuclear-weapons state, thus undermining the fundamental agreement at the heart of the NPT,” they warn. “President Obama is unraveling this international structure as part of an agreement that provides a pathway for the world’s worst state-sponsor of terror to acquire nuclear weapons.”
“Nearly everything the president has told us about his Iranian agreement is false. He has said it will prevent the Iranians from acquiring nuclear weapons, but it will actually facilitate and legitimize an Iranian nuclear arsenal. He has said this deal will stop nuclear proliferation, but it will actually accelerate it, as nations across the Middle East work to acquire their own weapons in response to America’s unwillingness to stop the Iranian nuclear program,” the op-ed continues.
Despite Obama’s claim that there is no alternative to this deal besides war, they say, “this agreement makes war more, not less, likely.”
“In addition to accelerating the spread of nuclear weapons across the Middle East, it will provide the Iranians with hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief, which even the Obama administration admits likely will be used to fund terror,” the Cheneys warn. “The deal also removes restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile program; lifts the ban on conventional weapons sales; and lifts sanctions on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, on the Quds Force, and on Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani. Under Mr. Soleimani’s leadership, the Quds Force sows violence and supports terror across the Middle East and has been responsible for the deaths of American service members in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
“A vote for the Obama nuclear deal is not a vote for peace or security. It is a vote for an agreement that facilitates Tehran’s deadly objectives with potentially catastrophic consequences for the United States and our allies.”
“The Obama nuclear agreement with Iran is tragically reminiscent of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s Munich agreement in 1938. Each was negotiated from a position of weakness by a leader willing to concede nearly everything to appease an ideological dictator. Hitler got Czechoslovakia. The mullahs in Tehran get billions of dollars and a pathway to a nuclear arsenal. Munich led to World War II. The Obama agreement will lead to a nuclear-armed Iran, a nuclear-arms race in the Middle East and, more than likely, the first use of a nuclear weapon since Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” they warn.
“The U.S. Congress should reject this deal and reimpose the sanctions that brought Iran to the table in the first place. It is possible to prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon, but only if the U.S. negotiates from a position of strength, refuses to concede fundamental points and recognizes that the use of military force will be required if diplomacy fails to convince Iran to abandon its quest for nuclear weapons,” they continue.
Congress continues to review the deal ahead of a vote on September 17. Momentum appears to be growing in support of the deal, with Senate Democrat Tom Carper announcing Friday that he supports it, putting the pro-Obama camp at 30.
The Democrats need 34 supporters in the Senate to uphold Obama's expected veto.
So far, only two Senate Democrats — New York's Chuck Schumer and New Jersey's Bob Menendez — have announced that they will vote against the deal, though several key Democratic senators have yet to announce their position.
Menendez, who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee and is a leading voice against the deal, acknowledged several days ago that the White House lobbying campaign for the Iran nuclear deal has generated results, and said he doesn't know if opponents of the deal can prevail.