Former CIA head: U.S. has ‘accepted Iranian uranium enrichment’


Former CIA head: U.S. has ‘accepted Iranian uranium enrichment’

Retired Gen. Michael Hayden said Sunday the United States has all but conceded Iran has the right to enrich uranium.

“We have accepted Iranian uranium enrichment,” Hayden said when asked about the agreement reached last week between Iran and the so-called P5+1 – the United States, Britain, China, Russia, France and Germany.

Hayden, a former director of the CIA who served in both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations, expressed a less critical view of the deal than most Republican national security hawks, saying he’s willing to let this agreement “run.”

“It’s not like we had a whole lot of good choices,” Hayden told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”

While Hayden said the accord with Tehran changed “the redline that we used to have,” he admitted the agreement does give the world an opportunity to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons. The former National Security Agency chief added that, although Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif may not be moderates, the pair might still be “the best deal we can get in terms of interlocutors within the Islamic Republic.”

“We have hit the pause button,” Hayden said. “Now we’ve got to negotiate hitting the delete button.”