Former Vice President Dick Cheney has joined the chorus of condemnation decrying the sweeping Iran accord announced by President Barack Obama.
Cheney denounced the deal on July 15, citing the growing threat of nuclear warfare he believes the agreement poses for the U.S. and the world, reports The Hill.
“What Obama has done is in effect sanctioned the acquisition by Iran of nuclear capability. And it can be a few years down the road, it doesn't make any difference, it's a matter of months until we're going to see a situation where other people feel they have to defend themselves by acquiring their own capability,” Cheney said on the Fox News program “Hannity."
The former vice president added, “And that will in fact I think put us closer to use — actual use — of nuclear weapons than we've been at any time since Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II.”
The deal provides relief to Iran for sanctions in exchange for a scaledown of the Middle Eastern country’s nuclear program. Iran must reduce its stockpiles of uranium and centrifuges, as well as allow an independent nuclear agency to inspect its sites. It could potentially take up to 24 days for the agency to gain access — which is the sticking point for Cheney and many other Republicans, according to The Hill.
“This is a situation where we don't have the kind of access we need to be able to get in and know what is going on from a covert standpoint," Cheney said. "They've had covert programs in the past. And I wouldn't be at all surprised that they have things underway now that we don't know about."
Many of the GOP presidential hopefuls expressed similar sentiments over the pact, according to Slate.
For example,Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker stated, “President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran will be remembered as one of America’s worst diplomatic failures … Instead of making the world safer, this deal will likely lead to a nuclear arms race in the world’s most dangerous region."
Congress now has 60 days to review the agreement and vote to either accept or reject it.