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Cheney says US position in the Middle East worse than ever

Former US Vice President Dick Cheney has told a gathering of influential Republicans, including hopeful presidential candidates, that: "The United States' position in the Middle East is worse than at any time in my lifetime."

Speaking to a closed meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas over the weekend, Cheney warned that: "Nobody who's been our friend in the past any longer has any sense of trust in [that] we'll keep our commitments, that we'll be there in a crisis when they need us. On the other hand, none of our adversaries need fear us."

Cheney stressed that the region's countries have now become closer to each other than to the United States, and warned against the growing strain of isolationism among Republicans, explaining that: "It's not taking over, by any means, but there is without question a body of thought now that's supported by many Republicans and some candidates that the United States can afford to turn its back on that part of the world."

During his talk, Cheney also stated his support for a military strike against Iran's nuclear programme, drawing both laughter and applause from the crowd according to a secret recording published by Mother Jones.

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