Cheney said deterrence was no
longer an option

Addressing a group of US Military Academy graduates, Cheney said the US will be waging war on " terror" out of what he called the "Bush Doctrine", targeting any nation that supports "terrorists".

“With such an enemy, no peace treaty is possible, no policy of containment or deterrent will prove effective. The only way to deal with this threat is to destroy it completely and utterly and President Bush is absolutely determined to do that,” said Cheney.

Cheney said the 11 September 2001 attacks marked the birth of the “Bush doctrine”, which consides any nation allegedly supporting or harbouring “terrorists”  a target in the US-led war.

Cheney said the policy remained in effect, although he didn’t name nations.

“If there is anyone in the world today who doubts the seriousness of the Bush doctrine, I would urge that person to consider the fate of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein’s regime,” he said.

Cheney hailed Washington’s war against Iraq, describing it as a victory. “We have removed a threat to our country and to our friends in the region,” he said.

Cheney’s comments coincide with Washington’s latest moves portraying Iran as an imminent threat. Washington has accused Tehran of developing a secret nuclear weapons programme, an allegation Iran has always denied.

US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, also accused Iran of not doing enough to fight alleged al-Qaeda members in Tehran. Iranian officials have dismissed this, saying they have captured suspected al-Qaeda members.