Vice President Dick Cheney Interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News (Excerpts)

December 19, 2008

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Q: And we're back now for one final segment with Vice President Dick Cheney.

A little over a year ago, Mr. Vice President, you said the following: "We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon." As you and the President leave office in a month, isn't Iran in fact closer than ever to achieving that goal?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, they're clearly continuing to work on it very aggressively, Chris, no doubt about it. We're continuing to work to prevent that from happening. And I would expect that the Obama administration will do the same as soon as they're sworn in.

Q: But this was perhaps the centerpiece of the Bush doctrine, that we will not allow the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons. Is it a failure by your administration to be leaving that problem to Barack Obama?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don't think so, in the sense that this is a continuing issue, this whole question of proliferation. We did, obviously, take down Saddam Hussein's regime. He'd been one of the proliferaters previously. We stripped Libya of its nuclear aspirations. They turned over all their centrifuges and feedstock and weapons design to us. We took down the A.Q. Khan black market network that was selling nuclear weapons technology to Libya --

Q: Iran --

THE VICE PRESIDENT: -- Iran. They were selling to Libya and to Iran, and to North Korea. So we -- I think we've done a good job of working generally the nuclear proliferation problem. We have not yet been able to stop the Iranian program. We continue to work on it. And we will pass on to President Obama the legacy that exists with respect to the efforts that we've already put in place.

Q: You have been very honest in this discussion today. And so I'm going to ask you, in your heart of hearts, do you believe diplomacy can solve this?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: That's the policy of the administration, and I support the policy of the administration.

Q: But you're not prepared to say that you believe diplomacy can solve this?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I hope it can. That's clearly what we've tried.

Q: Over your objections, sir?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: No, not over my objections. I've supported the efforts to try to put in place sanctions, which I think have had a significant impact on the Iranian economy, to support the efforts going through the U.N. Security Council. We've tried a broad range of possibilities here to try to slow down the Iranian operation.

Q: They haven't worked.


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