Vice President Dick Cheney believes the US should not be pursuing a diplomatic path with Iran, and a senior aide to the vice president has been meeting with national security think tanks and consultants in Washington to “help establish the policy and political pathway to bombing Iran,” Steve Clemons reported Thursday on his blog, The Washington Note.
Cheney is the person in the Bush administration who most desires a “hot conflict” with Iran and believes the administrations pursuit of diplomacy, led by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, is a mistake, Clemons reports. The Cheney aide, who has met with policy hands of the American Enterprise Institute along with other groups, “has stated to several Washington insiders that Cheney is planning to deploy an ‘end run strategy’ around the President if he and his team lose the policy argument,” according to Clemons.
Cheney’s team wants to work with Israel, nudging the country at some key moment to mount a small-scale attack on the suspected site of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, which could lead to an Iranian counter attack on US forces stationed in the Persian Gulf, Clemons reports.
The vice president has in recent weeks been ramping up his rhetoric against Iran. Earlier this month, he spoke aboard a US aircraft carrier just 150 miles of Iran’s coast to warn the country against continuing to pursue a nuclear weapons program.
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