TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Former US Vice President Dick Cheney said Iranians are the sole winners of the finalization of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) by Tehran and six world powers on July 14 in the Austrian city of Vienna.
“If you look at what happened with respect to (Obama’s) Iranian deal, the only winners are Iranians,” he argued in an interview with Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday.
“The losers are the United States, are the friends and allies of the United States in the region, the Israelis the Saudis and others,” he added.
“I think it’s a big deal, a major, major defeat — in my mind — in terms of our position in the region.”
Wallace challenged the former vice president and told him that he had eight years to deal with Iran’s nuclear program during his tenure, but failed to do it.
“You and President Bush, the Bush-Cheney administration, dealt with Iran for eight years, and I think it was fair to say that there was never any real, serious military threat,” Wallace noted. “Iran went from zero known centrifuges in operation to more than 5,000.”
“So in fairness, didn’t you leave — the Bush-Cheney administration — leave President Obama with a mess?” the Fox News host asked.
“I don’t think of it that way,” Cheney replied. “There was military action that had an impact on the Iranians, it was when we took down Saddam Hussein. There was a period of time when they stopped their program because they were scared that what we did to Saddam, we were going to do to them next.”
“But the centrifuges went from zero to 5,000,” Wallace pressed.
“Well, they may have well have gone but that happened on Obama’s watch, not on our watch,” Cheney insisted.
“No, no, no,” Wallace fired back. “By 2009, they were at 5,000.”
“Right,” Cheney grumbled. “But I think we did a lot to deal with the arms control problem in the Middle East.”
“What we did not do is what Obama did,” he added. “He never had a military option on the table. He talked about it repeatedly but nobody believed him, especially after he waffled on the Syrian deal. There never was a military option that the Iranians had to worry about.”
“He (Obama) always dealt from a position of weakness, which I don’t think we would have done.”
Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany- also known as P5+1 or E3+3) finalized the text of lasting deal on Tehran’s nuclear program on July 14.
When Congress returns to Capitol Hill from its August recess after Labor Day, both the House and Senate are expected to vote on resolutions disapproving the accord.
Obama needs 41 votes in the Senate to filibuster procedural rule to prevent a resolution disapproving the accord. So far 38 Democrats have come out in support of the agreement.
If the resolution is filibustered, it would be a major victory for the White House, which wouldn’t have to use Obama’s veto pen to protect the Iran deal.