Why Dick Cheney is just as wrong about Iran as he was about Iraq

By William Beeman | (Informed Comment) | – –

There are so many lies in Dick Cheney’s address to the AEI that one hardly knows where to begin in refuting them. He claims that the “international community” has called for the complete cessation of uranium enrichment by Iran. The “international community” apparently consists of Israel and perhaps the United States. In fact this is an impossibility, given that Iran (but not Israel) is signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which guarantees Iran the right to peaceful nuclear development. Nineteen other NPT non-nuclear-weapons signatories enrich uranium to a greater extent than Iran with no comment from the “international community.”

It is ironic that Cheney claims that “other nations” will claim the right to uranium enrichment as a result of the JCPOA when the aforementioned 19 already do this, and all the other NPT signatories already have that right. Moreover, the United States is enjoined by the NPT not to prevent such development–something that the United States has in fact done with Iran, and has put itself at odds with the provisions of the NPT.

Cheney’s claim that other nations “do not have the right to enrich” is flat wrong–it is a position that Wendy Sherman and others took during the negotiations, but other NPT signatories have refuted this, and one might ask how the 19 uranium enriching countries acquired this “right” if not through the treaty. If the United States wants to test this proposition, it should do so via the UN, but Washington knows it would lose this battle, and hawks like Cheney would rather make this empty assertion rather than have it inevitably shot down in the UN.

His statement: “Accurately assessing how far the Iranians are from obtaining a nuclear weapon would require a full and complete disclosure of their past activity” is a total red herring, since it has already been dealt with in the JCPOA, and is now irrelevant. The IAEA has already stated that it will issue a report on this point in December as a result of the Agreement. There are actually very few questions that need to be answered about Iran’s past activities, which date from nearly 20 years ago. How will Iran’s activities in 1998 with the progress of nuclear technology have any bearing on Iran’s capabilities in 2030, which is what we are facing.

In addition, Mr. Cheney was one of the chief architects of the attacks on Iran solely because of the “nuclear danger” presented by Tehran. Now he has buyer’s/seller’s remorse because this little toy in his hawkish foreign policy arsenal has been disabled. Now he wants to go after all the other things the Bush administration ignored about what they didn’t like about Iran. This is now the standard attack posture from the JCPOA opponents. Having resolved what they said was the most important aspect of Iranian danger, they now want to go back and redo 12 years of posturing and attacks with a whole different agenda. If these were resolved, they would find more things to pick at. The simple fact is that they don’t like Iran. They would like to crush the Iranian regime–regime change being a stated goal of the Bush administration, after all. Nothing would ever satisfy Cheney or his ilk

Others will have more to say about this rather ridiculous, but predictable speech from former Vice-President Cheney, but it is wise to remind ourselves that there never has been the slightest evidence anywhere that Iran had, has or will have a nuclear weapons program. The JCPOA on one level is a rather empty negotiation in which the Iranians cheerfully agreed not to do what they never intended to do.

William Beeman is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota

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Related video added by Juan Cole:

The White House: “Vice President Dick Cheney: Wrong Then, Wrong Now”

4 Responses

  1. Dick Cheney should have resigned when he shot an old hunting partner in the face with a shotgun in early 2006 at the Armstrong Ranch in Texas.

    Cheney was initially appointed Vice President by the Supreme Court in 2000 and managed to coerce the Bush administration, Congress and the U.S. public into the Iraq War by 2003 using lies, malinformation, intimidation and subsequently convicted co-conspirators as tools. His influence also helped spawn the odious and misnamed Patriot Act and the AUMFs of 2001 and 2002 which resulted in the abolition of privacy within our country.

    In retrospect, his behavior then was clearly the actions of a knowing madman. His unapologetic behavior today is merely another symptom. True psychopaths have been instrumental in dragging entire regions and countries to eventual ruin throughout history.

    Cheney is responsible in part for the on-going chaos in Mesopotamia and directly responsible for the deregulation/stripping of enforcements for the fossil-fuel industry thereby accelerating global climate collapse. The consequences of his efforts, combined, are instrumental in driving the tragic mass human migrations currently experienced across Europe, today.

    What other historical travesties has this protected-by-law b@†$#!† monster in store for us?

  2. War in the middle east against any Arab nation (even if they are not Arabs) is a triple play for the Dick Cheneys of the world.

    War in the middle east:
    – is great for defense industry profits
    – inflates oil prices
    – distracts from the actions of our ME allies, Saudi Arabia and Israel

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