Israel is likely to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities if it proves necessary in order to prevent it from acquiring Weapons of Mass Destruction, former Vice President Dick Cheney told US-based independent news site Newsmax.
“I think Iran represents an existential threat, and (Israel) will do whatever they have to do to guarantee their survival and their security,” the former vice president told Newsmax's Chief Washington correspondent Ronald Kessler.
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Asked whether he is basing his prediction on a particular source, Cheney said he cannot attribute it to any one Israeli source, and "wouldn’t want to do that.”
However, the former vice president noted that he had several conversations with top Israeli officials who "correctly perceive Iran as a basic threat.”
In his recently released autobiography, "In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir," Cheney mentions another state with nuclear ambitions – Syria.
In an interview with The New York Times last month, Cheney claimed President George W. Bush rejected his advice in 2007 to bomb a suspected nuclear reactor site in Syria, and that he was "a lone voice" for military action against the country.
According to Cheney, other advisers were reluctant because of "the bad intelligence we had received about Iraq's stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction" before the 2003 invasion of that country.
In his interview with Newsmax, the former vice president referred to the 10th year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, saying “I still worry more than anything else really about the possibility of a group of terrorists acquiring really deadly capabilities.”
“When we got hit on 9/11 there were 19 guys armed with airline tickets and box cutters. The next time around I worry they may have a nuclear device or biological agent of some kind and would be in a position to inflict far greater damage and loss of lives than anything we experienced on 9/11. I think that’s still a very real threat.”