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CIA Chief Praises Iran Nuclear Deal

  • RFE/RL

DIA Director John Brennan (file photo)

DIA Director John Brennan (file photo)

CIA Director John Brennan defended the framework nuclear deal with Iran and said some criticism of it is "disingenuous."

Brennan said in a speech at Harvard University on April 7 that he was surprised Iran had agreed to make so many concessions on its controversial nuclear program during negotiations with six world powers.

He added that people who say the deal "provides a pathway for Iran to a bomb are being wholly disingenuous, in my view, if they know the facts."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been especially critical of the Lausanne agreement and said the terms within it threaten Israel's existence.

Officials from Iran and Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia, and the United States agreed on April 2 in Lausanne, Switzerland, to a framework for a final agreement curbing Iran's nuclear program in exchange for relief from U.S., UN, and EU economic sanctions.

Brennan added that Iranian President Hassan Rohani is a "more reasonable" figure who had the green light from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini to broker a deal.

The deal's reception in Iran has been mostly positive.

On April 7, the commander of Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) expressed support for the framework agreement.

In comments published by Iranian news agencies, Mohammad Ali Jafari praised the Iranian nuclear negotiators and said that they had fought for the rights of the nation while respecting the red lines set by the establishment.

"With God’s grace, the revolutionary children of Islamic Iran have succeeded in their diplomatic battle to defend the rights of the Iranian competently," Jaafari said.

The announcement of the agreement was met with thousands of people celebrating in the streets, and several top Iranian officials have praised the deal and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his team for negotiating it.

Some hard-line conservatives in Iran have come out against it, however, saying that it forces Tehran to concede too much and weakens the nuclear program.

Netanyahu has denounced the framework understanding as a "bad deal."

Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said on April 6 that if Iran "will produce nuclear weapons, this is an existential threat to Israel."

Steinitz added that, in upcoming negotiations to finalize a deal with Iran, international officials should insist on a complete stop to research and development on new centrifuges, a cut in the number of existing centrifuges, and a shutdown of a facility at Fordo used for enriching uranium.

He said Tehran should also agree to spot checks on its nuclear program "anywhere, anytime."

With reporting by AP, AFP, Reuters, and The New York Times.
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