Tags: Iran | michael hayden | iran | nuclear talks | nukes | inspections

Hayden: No Iran Nuke Deal Without 'Anytime, Anywhere Inspections'

Hayden: No Iran Nuke Deal Without 'Anytime, Anywhere Inspections'
Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. (Reuters/Brendan Smialowski)

By    |   Thursday, 25 June 2015 09:05 AM

Negotiations with Iran over its nuclear capabilities are in a "really bad place," retired Gen. Michael Hayden said Thursday, and he's concerned that the Obama administration is willing to approve any deal just to have an agreement in place.

"We've gone from no deal is better than a bad deal, to, I think we're at any deal is better than no deal," Hayden told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "And I think that's a really bad place. We cannot appear or actually want the deal more than the Iranians do."

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Hayden said he was stunned when Secretary of State John Kerry made his first public appearance after he broke his leg in a bicycle accident, and talked about the possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program.

"No. 1, he said, you know, that's not really as important as some people were suggesting it is," Hayden said.  "No. 2, they don't really have to come clean before an agreement."

And while Kerry has said what really matters is the document, it also matters that Iran lives up to the terms of the document on its end, as "what the supreme leader says really matters," said Hayden. "He may have been posturing, but I wouldn't bet the farm on that."

There has been a bit of backtracking in the negotiations between Iran and the six-nation coalition headed by the United States, said Hayden.

"I don't know that sanctions are going to snap back," said Hayden. "I don't know that we're going to get previous military dimensions of the program explained before we sign, and I don't think we're getting anytime, anywhere inspections. And all of those really do have to be preconditioned."

Hayden, a former CIA director who headed the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005, admitted that "we left an ugly baby for this administration in terms of the Iranian nuclear program. If we had had a better idea, we would have done it."

The longer the talks go on "the more we seem to be willing to concede things," said Hayden, but he doesn't have a "really good Plan B."

He also fears that the United States may isolate itself at the negotiations if it pulls back.

"We're betting the farm on stopping them from weaponizing," said Hayden. "The secretary could actually argue that we're going to take our chances here with some lack of knowledge about the weaponization because we're confident we can stop the building of fissile material. If that's the case, say it."

Hayden continued that when he became President Barack Obama's CIA chief, the president asked him about Iran's capabilities. He told him that there's "not an electron or neutron that is ever going to show up in a weapon. What they're building there is technology."

And the United States needs to insist on anywhere, anytime inspection, said Hayden, as "they're going to do it somewhere else secret, and you've got to be able to go there."

Without that provision, Hayden said, "that means there's no deal."

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Negotiations with Iran over its nuclear capabilities are in a "really bad place," retired Gen. Michael Hayden said Thursday, and he's concerned that the Obama administration is willing to approve any deal just to have an agreement in place.
michael hayden, iran, nuclear talks, nukes, inspections
507
2015-05-25
Thursday, 25 June 2015 09:05 AM
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