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Paper: Cheney pushes for military action in Iran
Published: Monday July 16, 2007
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A British newspaper alleges that "the balance in the internal White House debate over Iran has shifted back in favour [sic] of military action" before President George W. Bush leaves office.

The Manchester Guardian's "Washington source" said neither Bush or Vice President Cheney trust any future president -- Republican or Democrat -- to deal with Iran "decisively." They're also anxious about an Israeli attack, the paper reports.

Inside the Administration, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates have come out against a military strike on Iran. Vice President Cheney, however, continues to push for military action, both according to the paper and previous reports by RAW STORY.

Last year, Bush came down in favor of Rice. Last month in a meeting with Pentagon and State Department officials, according to the Guardian, he favored Cheney -- who cites little progress in an ongoing standoff.

"The balance has tilted," the paper's source said. "There is cause for concern."

Cheney 'warned' Iran in a speech on an aircraft carrier off Iran's coast in May.

“With two carrier strike groups in the Gulf, we’re sending clear messages to friends and adversaries alike,” he said, according to remarks given to reporters. “We’ll keep the sea lanes open. We’ll stand with our friends in opposing extremism and strategic threats. We’ll disrupt attacks on our own forces. We’ll continue bringing relief to those who suffer, and delivering justice to the enemies of freedom. And we’ll stand with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating this region.”

"Almost half of the US's 277 warships are stationed close to Iran, including two aircraft carrier groups," the Guardian adds. "The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise left Virginia last week for the Gulf. A Pentagon spokesman said it was to replace the USS Nimitz and there would be no overlap that would mean three carriers in Gulf at the same time.

"No decision on military action is expected until next year," the paper adds. "In the meantime, the state department will continue to pursue the diplomatic route."

Cheney has at least one two allies in the Senate -- Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), a strong supporter of Israel, and Sen. Sam Brownback.

Asked last week whether he supported a pre-emptive strike, Brownback said, “Yes, I am, and I think we have to be... If we’re going to be serious about this fight, and we’re in this fight, and probably for a generation. We’re probably in this fight for a generation.”

Read the full story here.