August 30th, 2009
12:09 PM ET
11 years ago

Cheney: Threat to Iran's nuclear program crucial for negotiations

(CNN) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney says he was "probably" the strongest advocate in the Bush administration of a military strike against Iran's nuclear program.

Cheney told FOX News Sunday in an interview conducted Friday that he believed the military threat was crucial to negotiations with Iran on ending its efforts to develop a nuclear weapon.

"I was probably a bigger advocate of military action than any of my colleagues," Cheney said. "I think it was very important that the military option be on the table. I felt that negotiations couldn't possibly succeed unless the Iranians believed the military option was on the table."

Asked if he opposed former President George W. Bush's decision to enter negotiations with Iran and European nations on the issue, Cheney said he would discuss the matter further in an upcoming book on his life.

However, he said a recent Washington Post story that reported he will criticize Bush in his book was wrong.

"We had policy differences, no question about that," Cheney said. "But to say that I was disappointed with the president isn't the way it ought to be phrased."

When asked again if he believed that Bush went "soft" in his second term, as reported in the Washington Post story, Cheney replied: "No, I'm not going to speculate on it. I'm going to write a book that lays out my view of what we did."

Filed under: Dick Cheney • Iran
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. JR

    Military action is the only thing Cheney ever envisions, amazing since he never was in the military or ever risked his own self in any way. He's a big believer in SOMEONE ELSE'S blood being spilled.

    August 30, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. I was probably a bigger advocate of military action than any of my colleagues

    Mr. Cheney, you are a bitter, evil and sad man

    threatening and more threatening does not make that threat credible

    you have to follow through on a threat or all your other messages become suspect as does the threat

    your position with Iran weakened the U.S.

    August 30, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. Joan

    Every time Dick Cheney opens his mouth it is a bonus for the Democratic Party. He is the poster boy for the Republican party- white, rich, stubborn, critical , arrogant and grumpy. He just reminds everybody why they voted Democratic in November.

    August 30, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. Xavier

    Cheney is unbelievable. After he stretches our military thin with dual wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, he still would pick a fight with Iran if he could. I guess its pretty easy to be brave when its not your butt getting shot at. Can you say deferments because Cheney was to busy to go to Vietnam.

    August 30, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. Keith in CA

    No big surprise that this Chicken Hawk who never served a day in uniform finds it so easy to put more American service members in harms way. Isn't there another way for Cheney to pour billions into Halliburton's bank accounts that does require losing more American lives?

    August 30, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  6. carlos, that one

    this man gets more irrational by the minute, of course he would want to bomb iran, to get more profits to that corrupt haliburton and to his bank account......not any more dickey, you already stole enough from us honest taxpayers

    avarice: reprehensible acquisitiveness; insatiable desire for wealth (personified as one of the deadly sins)

    August 30, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. GOPer

    Cheney is a disgrace to the GOP and America. Please stop giving this lunatic press coverage.

    August 30, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. Randy

    How incredibly short-sighted the Democrats are once again. History records the intelligence failures propagated by purely-political oversight (instead of strategic oversight) under Kennedy and Johnson (CIA, NSA) to be debacles with incredibly catastrophic long-term consequences, renewed again under Carter and then multiplied in excess under the Clintons. Now again, for pure political posturing, they're using their power to knowingly deflect public attention away from their failures-past and present-to engage instead in prosecutions they already know to be baseless but for the rogue excesses present in every organization. We grow less safe every hour... Where the Republicans falter, miserably, in humanity and compassion, the Democrats falter inexorably in safety and intelligence-both of the spy and common-sense kinds.

    August 30, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  9. disgusted

    Cheney and his neocon buddies would have us at war with the whole world if he could.

    August 30, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. saveourchildren

    Greetings to the Obamists who are here today. Enshala. I agree with Obama that Iran should be free to develop whatever weapons are necessary to combat the zionists. A strike against Tel Aviv or Washington or San Francisco would be justice for the crimes committed by Cheney and other christian dogs. So Obamaists, allah with with you. Keep up the good work.

    August 30, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  11. Donkey Party

    What a DICK! I hope he writes his book from prison.

    August 30, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. bella

    Dear Mr. Cheney, you had your chance! The "torch" has passed to the Obama Administration! Please elshuto your moutho!! Thank you!!

    August 30, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. Cali J

    THat's right you brilliant lefties. Make Cheney go away and Iran and North Korea and maybe even Bin Ladin will learn to love us. Hows the view from inside that cavity?
    And to Ken, Arizona, wasn't Clinton a draft dodger? I can't find Obamas military record. Maybe it's with his birth certificate!
    Tax cuts are historically the ultimate solution to recessions and depressions. Why is Germany and China now coming out of their recession? Could it be that they refused to try to stimulate their ecomomies by spending massive amounts of money on their governments as Obama has?
    Get into the shade. That 1115 degree weather has cooked your brain

    August 30, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  14. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    Gosh, I miss having a vice president with principles, a backbone, and a mind of his own. You notice when Cheney was vice president, American diplomats and former presidents were not sent around the world for smiling photo-ops and secret negotiations with ruthless, power-hungry dictators.

    Our enemies smell weakness and appeasement in the air.

    August 30, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. jeni

    This man is beyond reproach. He has way more nerve than brains. It is beyond me why any station (yes even Fox) gives such an evil thinker the time of day. He was fidgiting more than usual during his interview. Does he feel the wall closing in?

    August 30, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  16. Willow

    Hey "Dick" here is a newsflash for you....No one but Rush Limbaugh–another Cynical Fat Old White Man–cares what you think!

    August 30, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  17. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Weren't both Bush 41 and Cheney part of the Iran Contra problem of Reagan's administration?

    August 30, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  18. Esther Haman

    It is a shame to see CNN bowing down to the forces of the right to give a platform to a war criminal to voice his lies and deceit again and again.

    Cheney's bankrupt idea and party have inflicted enough pain and sorrow on the Americans, not to mention people around the world.

    Please come to your senses and stop letting this DARK, EVIL man gain access to a mass media such as CNN.

    August 30, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  19. sanjosemike


    Usually it is "paid" in human bodies piled up...far more than would have occurred if despots and terrorists had been stopped early on. I know many of you detest Cheney with an enmity that would melt a small city. But terrorists respect him and Bush. They laugh at Obama.

    I think it is possible that Cheney and Bush both went "too far" in the interrogation of terrorists. But that said, I think it was an "honest mistake" in attempting to protect us all.

    The "law" can be interpreted. Every lawyer knows that. Although I think it makes sense to "stop what some people regard as torture," you need to replace it with techniques that will work.

    I don't think Obama knows what will work.


    August 30, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. Bob of Lompoc

    Another running dog for Israel.

    August 30, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  21. Dixon

    Cheney is the guy who never felt the need to serve his country in war. Seems ironic he is always so willing to send our youth to war. As usual he is able to talk the talk, but not walk the walk. Just another coward with a big mouth.

    August 30, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  22. No book, till Justice runs its course.

    How many accused criminals get to write a book?

    explaining their point of view, in front of the public?

    No book till the US Justice Dept. is finished.......

    We are talking War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and the deliberate mis-leading of the Congress and Senate about the reasons for War. Treason and Profiteering. The mis-use of the US military for personal gain......Too many questions.....too many unanswered questions.

    Let this fly and the the Justice Dept. will once again fail, fail in its duties, fail this Nation and its People, Fail its Forebearers

    No book till investigation complete, you Professionals(?) are letting Cheney drive this the cost of what? The very validity of your dept. The Justice Dept.

    August 30, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  23. Andi

    ohhh...I see. We have to BUY his book to know his 'real' opinions. Hmmmmm

    August 30, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  24. Connie, Indiana

    "Bigger advocate for military action". There you have it folks, he is a war-monger, Makes you wonder what this jerk is afraid of, this country was so close to being a dictatorship under the past administration.. Ole boy Bush and his "you are with us or against us" set the tone for the American people, if you disagreed you were unpatriotic, so the mouths were kept shut and look what happened, and now he is gonna write a book, BIG WHUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 30, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. tony

    Republicans believe in threats, not negotiation. Perhaps the Obama administration should adopt a similar approach with respect to health care reform. It should threaten to take away the government-backed insurance plan from anyone in Congress who is against the public option. After all, the government-backed insurance plan available to our representatives in Congress is a public option.

    August 30, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
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