CIA chief: ‘Disastrous’ if Trump kills Iran deal
WASHINGTON — Senior U.S. intelligence officials are increasingly concerned that President- elect Donald Trump’s threats to dismantle the Iran nuclear deal would bolster hard-liners in Tehran and spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
Over the last month, U.S. intelligence analysts have written secret reports on the possible effects if the next administration abandoned or in effect sabotaged the armscontrol accord, as Trump has vowed to do during the campaign.
The concerns broke into the open Wednesday when CIA Director John Brennan issued a blunt public warning, saying it would be the “height of folly” and “disastrous” for Trump to scrub a deal that has blocked Iran’s nuclear development.
Brennan told BBC TVthat revoking the agreement could allow Iran to resume its now-halted nuclear program and spur other countries in the Middle East to develop or acquire nuclear weapons for protection. “I think it would be disastrous” for Trump to jettison the deal, Brennan said.
Brennan did not name other countries, but Saudi Arabia, Iran’s staunch rival, is especially fearful of a nuclear-armed Iran given Tehran’s aggressive pursuit of regional influence and power.
It is extremely rare for the CIA director to issue a public warning to an incoming administration, and it suggests deep concerns within the intelligence community about Trump’s intentions.