Cheney suggests Israel may attack Iran

Published: Jan. 21, 2005 at 8:03 AM

NEW YORK, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- The vice president of the United States is publicly speculating Israel may attack Iran's nuclear facilities, widely seen as bomb-making sites.

Dick Cheney raised the possibility Jerusalem may unilaterally destroy the Islamic republic's atomic plants on the MSNBC program, "Imus in the Morning," the New York Times reported Friday.

"If, in fact, the Israelis became convinced the Iranians had a significant nuclear capability, given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards," he said Thursday.

"We don't want a war in the Middle East, if we can avoid it," he said. "In the case of the Iranian situation, I think everybody would be best suited or best treated and dealt with if we could deal with it diplomatically."

He also said Iran "is a noted sponsor of terror," supporting Hezbollah, and that the combination of nuclear technology and terrorism "is of great concern."

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