Former Dick Cheney aide David Wurmser has denied a published report that claimed the vice president was attempting to foment a war between the U.S. and Iran.
The story in the October 1 issue of Newsweek alleged that several months ago Wurmser said Cheney was considering a plan to press Israel to strike Iranian nuclear targets – including the site at Natanz, Iran's central facility for uranium enrichment.
According to Newsweek, the plan was intended to "provoke Tehran into lashing out," which would have created the pretext for the U.S. to launch strikes on a wider range of targets in Iran. The account was first reported in May on the Web log of Steve Clemons, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation.
In his first interview since leaving Cheney's office, Wurmser – who advised the vice president on Middle Eastern issues – told the New York Sun: "That conspiracy is unrecognizable to anything I have ever seen or heard or done. The vice president simply does not traffic in insubordination."
Wurmser said that when Newsweek reporters called his home and spoke with his wife Meyrav Wurmser — who is a Hudson Institute scholar — one reporter claimed to have documentary evidence of the conversation about Cheney's plan to provoke war with Iran.
"I dare Newsweek to publish the transcripts and attribute them to their authors," he told the Sun. "I am confident they cannot be real."
Wurmser would not elaborate on his talks with Cheney regarding Iran's nuclear program. "There is a trust between the vice president and his closest staff," he said, "and I have no intention of ever betraying that trust."
Clemons said on Tuesday that he stood by his story, but offered no further comment. A spokeswoman for Newsweek also said the magazine stood by its story.
Wurmser added that much of the anonymously sourced news about him and the Bush administration published in the last six years has been incorrect.
"There has been an unbelievable amount of disinformation put out by people inside the government and outside the government that has no relation to what really is going on inside the government,” he said, “starting with the special policy analysis unit set up in the Pentagon right after 9/11 to study terror networks … all the way to the current reports on a conspiracy to get us into a war with Iran."
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