Tags: Exclusive Interviews | Iran | Israel | MidPoint | War on Terrorism | nuclear | deal

Ex-Green Beret: Iran Can't Be Trusted in Nuclear Deal

By    |   Monday, 30 Mar 2015 06:49 PM

Nobody should be surprised that Iran is raising 11th-hour objections to a deal restricting its nuclear program, a global security consultant and former Green Beret, retired Army Lt. Col. Scott Mann, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV on Monday.

"The whole thing is duplicitous," said Mann, founder and director of the Stability Institute and a military adviser to Concerned Veterans of America who, as a Green Beret, served in the Middle East and Central America.

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What is "stunning," said Mann, is that the United States and other countries at the talks in Switzerland are pressing ahead with a deal that "could change the entire power balance in the Middle East" in Iran's favor — and still not guarantee that the Iranians won't have the ability to produce a nuclear weapon.

"I just can't imagine what the logic trail is going into this," he said. "It just makes no sense from a strategic perspective at all."

With a deadline of midnight Tuesday approaching, Iranian representatives are now openly questioning provisions of the deal, raising the possibility the talks could falter in the final hours.

At the same time, a top media aide to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has defected and is publicly accusing the U.S.-led negotiating team in Switzerland of acting on Iran's behalf.

Asked why negotiators would take Iran's side, Mann said, "I can't see a logical reason, unless there's some kind of concern that Israel is the only nuclear hegemony in that region — the only one with that kind of capacity."

"But again, that just doesn't make any sense to me from a national security or even regional security perspective," he said, pointing to animosity between Shiite, Persian Iran and its Sunni, Arab neighbors.

"It's not just Israel that's concerned about a nuclear Iran," he said. "Saudi Arabia and many of these other Sunni countries are extremely concerned about that, and I really believe that, ideologically, Iran would pursue some pretty bad things if they had that kind of capability against their neighbors."

Mann said decades of hostility toward the United States and Israel are reason enough to doubt Iran's good faith at the bargaining table.

"First of all, just their anti-American and their anti-Israeli — just vehement — hatred is just overtly obvious at every turn, and has been from a historical-precedent perspective," he said. "I can't see anything that would lead us to believe that these would be solid collaboration partners in a nuclear deal.

"There's nothing, historically, in how they've worked with us from the time of the Iranian hostage crisis until now," he said.

He also pointed to Iran's "fomenting instability" in neighboring Iraq and, of late, in Yemen, where Houthi tribes backed by Iran have forced the U.S.-friendly government out of power.

"The work that they're doing to push instability there is off the charts," Mann said of Iran, "and it seems to me like we're almost rewarding that behavior with how we're doing this nuclear deal with them."

He agreed with assessments that Yemen has entered the kind of free-fall, ungoverned or under-governed conditions that create a vacuum in which terrorist groups take root and flourish.

"That is the perfect strategic safe haven for groups like al-Qaida and ISIS to set up shop and project globally," he said.

Mann also discussed the continuation in power of Syrian President Bashar Assad, who was interviewed by CBS News for a "60 Minutes" segment that aired on Sunday. The Obama administration now says Assad must be negotiated with, despite having previously demanded his removal.

"One of the things that we have to consider with Assad and these other guys — a lot of these tinpot dictators and autocrats in these places — is that when you go in there and you break it, you buy it," said Mann.

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Nobody should be surprised that Iran is raising 11th-hour objections to a deal restricting its nuclear program, a global security consultant and former Green Beret, retired Army Lt. Col. Scott Mann, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV on Monday.
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