"If you have to hit Iran, you don't put American boots on the ground, you do it with tactical nuclear weapons and you set them back a decade or two or three," asserted Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee.
Asked if he considered war with Iran inevitable, the congressman replied, "I sure as hell hope not." But he was sharply critical of the recently concluded interim, six-month agreement with Iran that includes a lifting of some of the economic sanctions against the Islamic republic in exchange for limits on the production of centrifuges and a cap on uranium enrichment levels. Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency are to monitor assembly and storage facilities and inspect uranium mines and mills.
"Iran has to do nothing," said Hunter, who characterized President Obama's strategy as merely to "pray Iran will act differently" than its leaders have "for the last 40 years." Iran cannot be trusted in negotiations, he said, because it is part of "the Middle Eastern culture."
"In the Middle Eastern culture it is looked upon with very high regard to get the best deal possible, no matter what it takes — and that includes lying," he said. "That's one reason that these Gulf states like to work with the United States — because we're honest and transparent and we have laws that we have to live by."
Asked by the interviewer if he was taking about all Middle East nations, Hunter replied: "I would say not necessarily all Middle Eastern countries. I know that's a big generalization," adding, "They do business different than we do business in the West." He was adamant, however, insisting Iran's leaders and diplomats are nether rational nor honest.
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Photo: U.S. Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R-Calif)