by WorldTribune Staff, October 26, 2017
Selling Israel bunker buster bombs would allow it to take out underground aspects of Iran’s nuclear program and deter the Islamic Republic from breaking out with a nuclear weapon, former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden said.
“I can imagine circumstances where the U.S. might want to take steps to convince Iran of its seriousness,” Hayden told The Jerusalem Post.
“Allowing Israel to purchase them [bunker-busters] in gradations, training on them, but keeping them here” in the U.S.
Hayden said he “was never of fan” of the nuclear deal Iran signed with world powers “but we’ve got the deal. It has had some positive effects. But there are a whole bunch of other things Iran is doing that we have quite legitimate concerns about. I do criticize Obama for not pushing back harder about other issues,” Hayden said.
The former CIA chief said a longer-term risk if U.S. President Donald Trump or Congress were to completely scrap the deal is that it would damage the ability of the U.S. to reach complex deals in the future.
“The word of the U.S. must mean something. If Iran is not in material breach… and Iran is not in material breach… I agree with [ex-IDF intelligence chief] Amos Yadlin that the deal is so good, why would the Iranians cheat?… then we should stay in the deal,” while simultaneously trying to raise global pressure on Iran’s ballistic missile and terrorist activities in parallel, Hayden said.
Hayden added it was “quite remarkable” that Trump “got [Sen.] Tom Cotton’s agreement not to do anything dramatic for a while” in Congress so that the accord is not in immediate danger.
Hayden also reiterated his support for pressuring Iran on a variety of nuclear and non-nuclear issues, as well as strengthening the nuclear inspections regime to have more “anytime, anywhere” authority, including the inspection of Iranian military facilities to which the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has had little-to-no access.