Updated Dec. 6 at 8:30 a.m.
Congressman Duncan Hunter suggested that the U.S. should be prepared to use tactical nuclear weapons against Iran and that the country's leaders shouldn't be trusted, in a recent interview with C-SPAN’s Washington Journal.
In the video interview aired this week Hunter said that military intervention in Iran over their nuclear program might be inevitable, though he hopes not, and the U.S. should be prepared to use tactical nuclear weapons rather than boots on the ground.
“I think people like to toss around the fact that we have to stop them in some way from giving them this nuclear capability. I don't think it’s inevitable. If you hit Iran, you do it with tactical nuclear devices and set them back a decade or two or three. That is what you do with a massive aerial bombardment campaign,” Hunter told C-SPAN.
Hunter was on the public policy show to discuss the “Joint Plan of Action” agreement being worked out between Iran and world powers to ease sanctions on the country in exchange for Iran's promise to stop developing nuclear weapons. The deal would allow for Iran to continue working on nuclear power programs.
He told C-SPAN that Congress should vote immediately on Iran sanctions without hearing from Secretary of State John Kerry about the agreement. He suggested that Iran may not be honest in such an agreement.
"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," Hunter said.
He wavered when asked if he was referring to all Middle Eastern cultures, first he said yes, but then said no, and said later in an interview with U-T San Diego that he was referring to political leaders in the region.
Hunter, a Marine veteran, said that "boots on the ground" military conflict in Iran would be a "horrible thing" that he wouldn't want to see happen after Iraq and Afghanistan, conflicts which he served in.
During an interview with U-T San Diego Hunter clarified that he's not advocating bombing civilian populations, but the use of tactical nuclear weapons on key Iranian nuclear facilities as a last resort to prevent Iran from creating nuclear weapons.