IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Hayden: Iran deal doesn't kill nuke program, it buys us time

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at a press conference at the CICG (Centre International de Conferences Geneve) after a deal over Iran's nuclear program was reached in Geneva on Nov. 24, 2013.

Former CIA head Gen. Michael Hayden dubbed the president’s nuclear deal as “important” but a “limited” step in neutralizing Iran’s nuclear weapon program.

It doesn’t look to stop the regime’s nuclear program, he noted, it looks to make a bomb harder for them to get.

“We did sign up, in fact, to continued nuclear enrichment in Iran. I think that’s a given,” Hayden said. “What we're going to get out of it… is how much of a gap can you put between the program they’re allowed to retain and their ability to have a weapon. This isn’t about stopping it; it’s about creating that time.”

Hayden said that the danger of this deal comes at the end of six months, when the “interim” period is over or potentially even extended—that’s when there’s the greatest threat of Israel bucking the U.S.-led deal.

“Not during these six months, but... if we get to the end of these six months and we get the diplomatic equivalent of a continuing resolution? I think there we’ve got the maximum danger that Israel will feel legitimated that they can do something more, because everyone agrees that this interim agreement isn’t a place where we can hold forever.”