Tags: Emerging Threats | Iran | Michael Hayden | Iran Deal | Nuclear Arms

Hayden: I'd Be Surprised if Iraq Nuke Talks Bring No Agreement

Hayden: I'd Be Surprised if Iraq Nuke Talks Bring No Agreement
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By    |   Monday, 06 July 2015 01:10 PM

Retired Gen. Michael Hayden said Monday that he'd be surprised if ongoing talks with Iran end with no agreement, but he agrees with Secretary of State John Kerry that it's hard to tell what that pact would include.

"They [Iran] really need a deal for economic reasons," the former CIA and NSA director told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "I think we want a deal. We want a deal for, I'm afraid, for political and personal reasons. I would be surprised if the secretary leaves Vienna without something he could present to Congress when he comes back to the United States."

He is concerned, though, that Kerry will come home with something that "he claims to be an agreement," like in April, "when they went back [home] ... and were explaining things in different ways.

"I think we need absolute clarity on the conditionality of sanctions relief ... tying it to specific Iranian achievements, the things they have to do."

He also said the agreement needs to include the ability to inspect Iran's nuclear facilities "anywhere, anytime," and if words like "creative solutions or joint resolution panel" are part of the agreement, "we really don't have a deal."

Hayden said he hopes that the Obama administration and State Department will follow through with promises to walk away from the table without a deal if an acceptable pact isn't reached.

"I don't think this means everything collapses," said Hayden. "I think this means we can rejoin later in the summer and after having impressed the Iranians with our seriousness about some of these conditions."

But unless the International Atomic Energy Agency has the ability to go where it needs, "I don't think we have a deal at all," said Hayden. "I've said before, they're not going to cheat on this agreement at known facilities. It's the unknown facilities. Those are the places that the IAEA has to go."

State Department spokesman John Kirby told CNN's "New Day" program that even though Tuesday is the deadline that has been stated for the talks, "it's important to remember that the July 7 deadline was a technical extension. An extension of the agreements under the joint plan of action that all the parties signed. It's a technical extension and only that."

He said that it is not known yet if the talks will go past the deadline, and that Kerry was clear that work would continue this week.

"If they can meet [with] agreement on the key issues, we could have an agreement this week — but there's no guarantee," Kirby said.

Meanwhile, there has been progress made, but there are still very difficult decisions to be made and disagreements to be hashed out, said Kirby, and the ministers who have been working on the agreement for years are still working their way through it.

Kirby also said that when it comes to questions on "anytime" inspections, he would not be "negotiating here on national TV." But in April all the parties, including Iran, agreed to a set of parameters that would allow IAEA officials to inspect as they needed to, wherever they wanted to go and whenever they needed to, in order "to make sure that the concerns were addressed over Iran's past military dimensions of the program."

The United States is definitely seeking an agreement that keeps Iran from pursuing and possessing nuclear weapons, said Kirby, but a relationship with Iran is complicated for far more reasons than nukes, including the Middle Eastern country's support of terrorism around the region and its history of human rights violations.

"Our focus is right now ... trying to get to an agreement on a nuclear deal and not specifically in these negotiations dealing with all those other issues," Kirby said, as those issues will not be solved in Vienna with the nuclear deal.

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Retired Gen. Michael Hayden said Monday that he'd be surprised if ongoing talks with Iran end with no agreement, but he agrees with Secretary of State John Kerry that it's hard to tell what that pact would include.
Michael Hayden, Iran Deal, Nuclear Arms
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2015-10-06
Monday, 06 July 2015 01:10 PM
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