Congressman Hunter Says U.S. Should Attack Iran with Tactical Nukes

Duncan hunterCalifornia Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter told C-SPAN’s Washington Journal that a military conflict with Iran regarding their nuclear program may be inevitable and that the U.S. should hit them with tactical nuclear weapons.

“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 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 said.

Hunter made the remarks to C-SPAN in the context of a broader discussion about a recent U.N.-brokered deal involving the U.S., Iran and other members of the international community.  The agreement, worked on by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, is identified as a “Joint Plan of Action,” Geneva, Nov. 24.

The Joint Plan of Action will loosen the economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for an Iranian pledge to halt nuclear weapons development. The deal does allow Iran to develop nuclear power – just not nuclear weapons.

“The goal for these negotiations is to reach a mutually-agreed long-term comprehensive solution that would ensure Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful. Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek or develop any nuclear weapons,” the agreement reads.

When asked by the C-SPAN reporter, Hunter said that Congress should vote on sanctions against Iran as soon as possible without waiting for Kerry to testify on the Hill on the issue.

Kerry is slated to testify next week.

The recent U.S.-Iran agreement has inspired controversy as some have praised the move as substantive progress toward greater peace and stability — and others have sharply criticized the deal on the grounds that Iran cannot be trusted to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

Hunter’s reference to tactical nuclear weapons came on the heels of a comment about lessons learned from recent U.S. ground wars.

“I think a ground war with Iran with American boots on the ground would be a horrible thing. After Iraq and Afghanistan, America knows its limitations in that area,” he said.

Hunter’s office did not respond  by press time to questions about why the Congressman made these remarks.

About the Author

Kris Osborn
Kris Osborn is the managing editor of Scout Warrior and a former associate editor at Military.com.

89 Comments on "Congressman Hunter Says U.S. Should Attack Iran with Tactical Nukes"

  1. so by threatening this response we validate Iran's desire to develop nuclear weapons. Way to think that one through.

  2. This is what happens when we let politicians stick their hands in the pots of the military. Civilians have been screwing with the DoD since the Vietnam War. Leave the war fighting up to the war fighters and worry about fixing your broken state.

  3. Why do we elect these people.

  4. I know why?

  5. well they sure as hell will be making nuclear weapons now

  6. Forget the tactical nukes, don't think they will have the needed penetrating force…. Go for the big dogs, really lite up their world…

  7. But Iran has a two million man militia with AKs!

  8. “If you hit Iran, you do it with tactical nuclear devices and set them back a decade or two or three”. Gee, only two or three decades? Why stop there, why not back to the Stone Age, Rep. LeMay, errr. Hunter?

  9. Congressman Hunter's State (Calif), is going Bankrupt, Paying for the illegal alien invasion and he wants more senseless Middle East Wars.
    In 25 years Southern Calif will be Northern Mexico and Congressman Hunter will be a small footnote to California History.

  10. And this is supposed to discourage Iran from developing nukes?

  11. Don’t you just love him? One of the people in charge of America’s destiny and he’s still fighting the Cold War. “But we’ll show them Rooskies we don’t back down from nobody. Even if they do want to talk peace we’ll give ’em a war they’ll never forget.” Next time I’m voting for whoever wants to impose Sharia Law on this country. Gotta be an improvement.

  12. 1) Any reasonable person would understand that, if the have 20% E.U. they were prolly on their way to 85%+.
    2) They have a breeder reactor and are manufacturing PU.
    3) It's not that hard to create a moderate yield weapon out of PU and create an assembly that goes big boom. They probably got the specs from Pakistan and NorKor.

    Using tactical nukes is just another method of project large amounts of power without expending massive amounts of blood or treasure. Obama sucks at diplomacy and sucks worse at brinksmanship.

  13. Obama has drawn a red line. I doubt we will have to give Iran more than 7 states. 10 tops.

  14. Can't we just have a war…?!?! jeeeesh.

  15. Iran can never be trusted on their word. The past has shown that. Nothing has changed with Iran. I doubt US and Iran will come to an agreement. They need a better plan other than tactical nuclear weapons. As far as I'm concerned this is a military matter not a political advisory meeting with John Kerry. Lots of talking not enough planning. Let the military leaders come together to develop a plan on their behave.

  16. Whatever Israel wants we must do. Not sure why though….

  17. In his public statements, Congressman Hunter refuses to apply the commonsense adage from "Tropic Thunder":

    Never go full retard.

  18. If I was Iran and our enemy Israel had nukes I would do everything I could to get them too. Just like Russia, China and North Korea have. Maybe Israel should have thought about that when they were stealing the technology and plutonium from America for their nukes.

  19. Billionare casino mogul Sheldon Adleson, the GOP’s #1 donor, said back in October that the U.S should nuke Iran is ‘desert environments’.

  20. Maybe we can keep Haiti from getting nukes. At least the oceans have stopped rising.

  21. I majored in History and focused on the Cold War during my studies. Both the United States and the Soviet Union had war crazy mongers throughout the era that wanted to annihilate the other side. Both sides also had sensible people in power that knew the ramifications of nuclear war were of the most permanent and severe kind the world would ever see. These few sensible people somehow managed to get all of the stronger offices of power and regularly negotiated with their own counterparts from the other side. They had a mutual and unspoken agreement that each side would keep their own crazies in check.

    I'm starting to miss the Cold War and the Soviet Union. Sure the Soviets were the evil empire, but having such an enemy kept us on our toes and reminded us of what we stood for as Americans. We don't have that anymore, but I'm pretty sure we still have some of the sensible people around to keep the crazies in check. At least we know who one of those crazies is now…

  22. I guess it will be US vs the rest of the world then. Imagine if Iran has said something with just 10% of that. Nukes would actually be raining down on Iran already.
    One thing is sure: US has never and will never go down in history books as a nice civilized country.
    How can actually a human being grow up to become and say something like this. Not even the north korean leader as this crazy.

  23. Its obvious that the only way for a lasting peace to be reached in the middle east is for Iran to get the bomb. Until then the US and Israel will always be looking for an opportunity to attack.

  24. Restore Palestine | December 5, 2013 at 2:33 am | Reply

    See? I told you US Congress was filled with brainless, useless lowlifes.

  25. william dhalgren | December 5, 2013 at 4:54 am | Reply

    Yes the Senator is right, of course, The sub-human Iranians need to be taught a lesson, This subterfuge is designed to fool America into a false sense of security. WE WILL NOT BE AFRAID!!!. The might of the USA is not be denied and the consequences of failing to obey our will is on their own heads. Our forces will prevail against this threat with terrible vengeance.
    Seig Heil !

    best rgds,
    Martin Bormann
    Argentina (somewhere in…)

  26. politicians are the lowest form of life.

  27. Yes. If Iran fails to comply with the last agreement, a limited nuclear attack should be put on the table. Patience has a limit.

  28. Duncan is an AIPAC stooge and a traitor to the United States. According to AIPAC, he only received $6.000 in bribe money from Israel. I suspect he got a lot more under the table since he made these atrocious remarks. Are we Americans so blind that we cannot identify the real enemy? Iran poses no threat to the US. Iran has NO nukes and has signed on to the NPT. Israel, on the other hand, has numerous nukes and refuses to sign on to the NPT. Iranians are not the crazies. The Zionists are the crazies who are hell bent on either taking over the world,or taking down the world.

  29. And the Golden Dunce Cap Award for 2013 is awarded to California Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter!

  30. Big bomb meets deeply buried bad lab. solution? Don't build bad labs.

  31. I'm usually not much in favor of conspiracy theories, but is this suggestion from Duncan Hunter a secret attempt (on behalf of The Democrats) to make people think Republicans are batshit crazy? I mean, forcing Sarah Palin as a VP candidate on poor McCain no doubt scared a lot of swing voters into voting for Obama, and next time the tea partiers did their part to ensure he kept the job (Michelle Blachman, remember?). Seeing that Duncan Hunter is smart enough to simultaneously walk and breathe, he has already proven that suggesting that Iran be nuked can't have been said in earnest.

  32. Congressman Hunter is wrong. Israel should initiate the first strike and the United States should follow in the second wave. However, we know obamas feelings towards Israel and Israel cannot put much faith in the United States backing them.

  33. The only possible reason for use of nukes of any type is if the very existence of the nation is threatened… Iran is an alligator (all mouth and no ears). They do not threaten us directly. If we wish to demonstrate that Iran shouldn't continue to develop nuclear weapons, we have excellent means to do it conventionally. Use of nukes in this case is absurd and I feel very sorry for the Congressman who said such an insanely stupid thing. He need a few year's rest in a well padded facility.

  34. Many in America wants to turn a blind eye to Iran, but what Congressman Hunter is speaking of is essential. There were those who believed it was just fine to attack Syria, yet a surgical strike against a real and present danger is out of the question. Iran will continue to proceed with making nuclear weapons and they will be a threat to our international interests.

  35. Surely we all know that if the US wished to 'knock Iran back 20 or 30 years' we could do it without nukes. Even at the castrated level our armed forces are now, we could turn that country into a parking lot, without nuke #1. I think Iran knows it, I also think they think we won't. I never meant to imply that a surgical strike might not be in the best interests of this country and a lot of others, I just mean to do it with nukes is absurd.

  36. CLUELESS

  37. HUNTER, Is clueless about nuclear weaspons. Yhe damage it would cause would be worst than any man/ woman image. Remember it is people we are talking about. I know Russia doesn'care neither does North Korea or Pakistan, India, I am not sure. Most economic countries have nuclear warheads, its about power. Look at the US we have been dismantling nuclear warheads for a long time, but one must remember …Nukes kill everything living and the aftermath of the radiation will lasat another life time. Hunter needs to be briefed on our nuclear philosophy from our Strategic forces and get a grip. We thought about using a nuclear warhead during Vietnam, North Haiphone harbor…but we were afraid of what the Russians and Chinese would do, so it was cancelled…it was a winless war. Now Hunter I am sure he doesn't have the right security clearances do know what our weapons are to be used for and how. Remember Haig at one time Secretary of State 4 star general he mentioned the use of nuclear warheads and was fired. Scare tactics don't work. Obama is also clueless on this program, he might not even have the right security clearances. Isreal will attack but not with nuclear warheads!!! FACTS

  38. The day we draft all our kids into the Army or Marines and make them the front line fighters and every congressman's kids are in the front, then we might think about an
    other war.

  39. Ha ha ha, this is a perfect setup for "good cop, bad cop". Hunter and his ilk play the bad cop, and then the president or someone else in authority comes in and plays the good cop. The good cop can say to the Iranians, "See, look at what the scary bad cop wants to do to you. You should really play ball with me."

  40. Starting to think Hunter is a little too "activist" and "adventure-friendly".

    Of course, it'll likely be sailors and Marines who will pay the price for pre-emptive attack on Iran. Sure, history will be written by the victors, and the Marines can add Tehran to the Marine Corps Hymn…

  41. We should wait for the Iranians to hide bombs in all or our major cities. Then we can deal with them. Now is not the time.

  42. Forget it on Iran Obama is Nevel Chamberlain And he wont stop appeasing the bad guys.

  43. thanks for deleting my comment defensetech

  44. So, what have we here. Apparently the posession of nuclear weapons is BAD, in fact so BAD that the USA should use these EVIL, INDEFENSIBLE weapons to stop anyone else getting hold of them. Anyone see the irony here?

    Just out of interest, North Korea has nuclear weapons, as do India, Pakistan and Israel (amongst others of course) but they seem to be off limits.

    If you want my own opinion (which you may well not) NK scares me WAY more than Iran. But we accept that. Maybe because they already have these awful weapons?

    What sort of message does that send out? Try and get nukes and we'll kill you. Get nukes and you're home and safe.

  45. Maybe he is jonesing to ride the first one in Dr. Strangelove-style.

    But seriously, this is electioneering. Does he really think the rank and file military in his district will be impressed? I sure hope not.

  46. Congressman Hunter Says U.S. Should Attack Iran with Nukes. President Obama says the U.S. should accept Iran with Nukes.

  47. This military option notion in regards to Iran for dealing with the nuclear issue is focusing far too much on the nukes and not enough on the results. If we chose to use a military option it makes eminently more sense to just undermine the jihadi government and cause its collapse than to try and put bombs down air shafts in mountains.

    Exterminate the Revolutionary Guard and Quds force facilities.

    Sink the navy.

    Annihilate the air force and IADS.

    Take out a couple oil terminals and some refineries and the nation of Iran would collapse financially and politically. No money, no nukes.

    Keep ours in the bunkers for alien invasions….

  48. Hunter for President. We should have nuked Afghanistan. And Iraq.

  49. Robert Cerveny, Jr. | December 5, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Reply

    So people on here would rather see boots on the ground and our men and women killed. You people are so brilliant your head shines out your butt. You saw what they did to the Iraqis in their war in the 1980's. They took the pow's and took all their blood out for their own troops. Now I don't totally agree with the nuke as it should be used only in dire circumstances. But shooting missiles at Israel, Qatar, our fleet, other countries when they finally get to doing it, you pop 7 or 8 missiles and not tactical either. Normal nukes will take out a certain distance where tactical nukes can spread radiation and sickness to other countries.

  50. If that what it takes to take out the underground installations of our enemies in Iran, then so be it. We already use dirty uranium in conventional conflicts. Tactical nukes aren't be planet busters, they are smaller & precise.
    It's time to teach Iran a lesson that will never forget.

  51. Granted it was a dumb thing to say but have does this have to do with Defense Tech?

    Did Defensetech run a story when Rep. Hank Johnson voiced his concern over Guam capsizing if we put too many Marines on it? http://www.cbsnews.com/news/hank-johnson-worries-

    Here's the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNZczIgVXjg

    Oh never mind. He's a Democrat. That doesn't count…

  52. if we attack Iran then a lot of middle east countries will attack Israel so either way we end on the losing end of the spectrum of the conflict.

  53. dam white people and jews want to bomb Iran up the….

  54. Remember the USS Liberty, Israel deliberately attacked our ship and killed our military personnel to try to draw us into 6 day war.let Israel take care of itself don’t spend U S lives for them

  55. I got a better idea lets take away the cic post from the president and give it to the military chief of staff its not the politicians that have to fight the wars

  56. Yep, lets just keep nukin our planet…Screw it. Iran already has the damn bomb anyways, Pakistan hand delivered the damn thing years ago… It seems the more our government screws us over here at home the more trouble they create overseas to try and make themselves look like "heros" to gain public backing thus taking our mind off of the catastrophes they have created here…No wonder China is testing our resolve, our Gov probably said to China that you better do something to protect your investment in our debts cause the natives are getting restless and want their country back.

  57. Iran has been at war with the United States for 30 years. Sooner or later Americans will have to understand this. Some of us would rather it not be after another catastrophic attack on our soil, but with the way Americas continue to be reserved and not wanting to confront evil that has said it’s coming is worry some. Hunter basically stated that we won’t waste our military to participate in half-assed war like we’ve done for decades any longer. If we weren’t the incredibly reserved and ignorant United States and instead any other nation, Iran would have been dealt with decades ago.

    It doesn’t matter if you don’t want war, the enemy has waged it. It’s time to put your adult pants on and quit pretending that they are just bluffing with their intentions. It’s such a shame how Americans refuse to acknowledge evil when it’s smiling in their face touting their intentions.

  58. Suffice to say, once the British government starts disagreeing with us, we'll probably start thinking of putting nukes on their heads.

  59. I wouldn't trust Iran any more then I would trust a pedophile in a grade school playground.

    They are deceitful, they have done nothing in the past thirty years to prove that they have changed their feelings about America and will do anything they can to do us harm.

  60. Seriously?? Look, no one is calling Iran the Boy Scouts here. But evil would be dropping nuclear bombs on a country with a large population skewed towards youth and children, with NO provocation. Nukes are only justified when your country is attacked by nukes, or MAYBE when your country is under mass bombardment and is at risk of being destroyed. Destroyed as in your civilian population nearly eliminated, not merely a military defeat. Even then it is morally bankrupt, if the nuclear exchange ratchets up to mutually assured destruction. (Two genocides is worse than one, regardless of who's at fault.)

    Iran poses nothing like that risk to us. Not in a hundred years. They haven't even made a nuke yet, if ever they did they wouldn't have the means to deliver it to our soil, and even if they got to that point, they'd still have to move launch on us before dropping a nuke on them would be justified. What are "tactical" nuclear devices anyway? How would they not simply encourage Iran to very quickly complete or acquire a nuke and then actually deploy it on the nearest target which would be, I dunno, Israel, since they have been attacked by a nuclear device already? How would it not galvanize the entire population to support mass attacks against Western interests? This could potentially even get Saudi Arabia on Iran's side (Allah forbid as they say.) Do you think for an instant Russia would sit by and let us launch any nuke on their half of the planet? They might not respond in kind, but they could very quickly head up an effort to make life economically difficult. Try Great Recession Part II, with the addition of a 1970s style fuel blockade.

    Good grief. Whoever has this guy as a representative needs to vote him out next possible opportunity. And make sure he doesn't get a "think tank" or lobbyist position either.

  61. I mean we are already the only country on Earth that has ever actually dropped nuclear bombs on someone. Of course then it was total war. Nukes were new and Mutually Assured Destruction hadn't been formulated yet. In the thought process of the time the nuke was just a really big bomb, and given the (relatively) weak power of those bombs, we got a pass. If we did it again in the fashion this Congressman describes, I'm sorry. We'd officially move into the Axis of Evil category. Yes, right there with Pol Pot and Stalin. You really want to be in that category?

  62. Errhhh…

    Excuse me, does this congressman know which planet he is living on when he made this comment…

    Or he got marbles in his head when he made this comment…O.o….

    zzz

  63. POGES they got nothing to worry about their kids WON"T go to combat!!!

  64. What dam* IDIOT voted for this moron? He says stupider stuff than Biden. Didn't really think that was possible.

  65. Hey Hunter!, wait for the pop before opening your piehole!

  66. The senator should be neutered so he can't contaminate the rest of the free world

  67. Why are the Politicians so anxious to get into another war. The idiot probably has never served. And there is a little thing called nuclear fallout. Nuclear weapons used as the only resort.

  68. This is why you don't want radical, reactionary persons in charge of the military. The idea is NOT to have a war. War is not a normal condition. This state-of-war mindset has much to do with the weapon issues our country faces. Maybe we could try a little peace. The lesson here might be that societies need to evolve at their own pace. Our interventions, whatever the intent, do not help that evolution.
    Afghanistan has rich mining potential and is likely the only real excuse to have influence there.

  69. As a male spouse of a twenty +year vet and a twenty year vet myself, I'm wondering if the good rep ever served himself????? Folks are so brave when they may not have served….

  70. Anyone out there that has been looking at this backwards little country called Iran knows that one way or another we will someday be fighting a war with them. They cannot be trusted to keep their word, they still stone woman to death and rape and sell little girls to men for marriage. Does the world really need them. NO! Would the world be a better place without them..YES! Hit them with a couple of big nukes and get it over with. If any of those other towel heads say anything, hit them too! History shows that these people never believe in peace and have been fighting for 2000 years. Do you see any changes now? Better to wipe them out now than make our children pay later. I am sick of losing American Kids because of these people. All they understand is War…Give it to them once and for all. America needs to stop being such a P—-Y and show the rest of the countries out there that we will not take their crap anymore! Semper Fi

  71. And we elect (and continue to re-elect) fools like this? No matter how he tries to walk this back (if he does), there is no context under which this is responsible commentary from a member of our governing body.

  72. Yeah……go ahead and trust a Muslim ! FOOLS !!!

  73. what a loon. First, contrary to popular believe, we are now the world police. Second, nukes have only been used twice before – both times by us. I'm not saying we get rid of them, but I am saying we don't use them.

    He just told Iran spread their computer files around, so they aren't in one "hit" spot.

  74. Diplomacy with bullets is alright, but with nukes? Well combatants should have the entire arsenal of weapons in his tool kit, to include the nukes, nonetheless, usage of weapons of mass destruction should be restricted to well selected combat leaders, nukes causes lots of collateral damage to the entire planet.

  75. Has anyone noticed the politicians who clamor for war, are not the same ones who must do the actual fighting and dieing. Let Congressman Hunter be the first one off the plane with the troops, or have a son or daughter involved with the conflict and see how he feels then. Besides I hear no one saying anything regarding Israel's 200-400 undeclared nuclear weapons. Such hypocrisy.

  76. iam a senior man who if asked to go to war id go in a heart beat , I served in Viet Nam I can do it again, I can still run and take cover and shoot them sob's that come my way..

    nosense having young men die, i have lived long enough, i can take the place of a youngster from getting killed..

  77. Yeah, let off nukes in Iran and the US would go from laughing stock of the world to International Pariah.

  78. Actually Israeli Jews have a healthy contempt of American Christians. We should not let religious superstitions dictate foreign policy. This goes for all parties involved.

    The Jewish holocaust was bad, but more people died under Stalin's regime than anywhere else. Where is your sympathy for their suffering? Frankly, Jews will not be able to milk their holocaust forever because global sympathy about it is drying up. It has been done and they were compensated. That should have been the end of it.

  79. So having nuclear weapons and NSA invading every world communication would meen that the US is legitimate target for nuclear strike. Who has not sinned cast the first stone.

  80. We don't need a nuke, We need resolve , They really like to talk– there better prepared so we didn't think of that, We really are saving so many Iranians from there idiot leaders they just don't get it, and I hope we don't have to make it clear.

  81. After 35 years Iranian government tried to negotiate with US government and come to an agreement on nuclear issue, why US congress and Israel try to pass more sanctions and
    talking about war ??Maybe Mr. Nataniahu wants this way?
    Soviet Union broke down with war ? ?
    In a real heavy war only civilians suffer and undemocratic regimes gain strength and find
    more reason to focus more on nuclear weapons instead of peace.

    Soheil
    IRAN

  82. that is the most stupidest idea a congressman can make.we don.t want those people to have atomic energy to be used for the wrong reasons and here we have a us congressman saying lets destroy them before its to late.and most of all with atomic bombs. real stupid congressman.

  83. How can it be possible for people that we elect to office to be so stupid as to suggest such a thing! We get the government we deserve!

  84. Why are those idiots in congress so anxious to get us into another war .With nukes especially. with all the fallout. These people probably were never in military.We should only fight if there is absolutely no choice in the matter.

  85. The congressman Hunter should get rid of his cowboy outfit and retire his sidearm
    as it must be affecting his logical thinking. He should realize that in order to regain
    an appreciation by the rest of the world of American values, he should not exercise
    an "Ugly American Role" but one of wanting to work and accept others thoughts.

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