In his testimony before the US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee last Wednesday, former top military intelligence official under President Obama harpooned the administration’s pursuit of a nuclear deal with Iran, saying the plan is based on “wishful thinking.”
Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, delivered stinging criticism of the Iran deal framework as well as the U.S. response to the violence in Iraq and Syria.
“It is clear that the nuclear deal is not a permanent fix but merely a placeholder,” he told the subcommittee members.
Flynn said the 10-year timeline in parts of the deal are reasonable only if the U.S. thinks a reconciliation with Iran can be achieved at some point. According to the retired General, to imagine such an outcome is “wishful thinking,” adding that a change of regime would be the best way to stop Iran from seeking nuclear weapons.
Flynn also asserted that Iran is intent upon building nuclear weapons, and their desire to destroy Israel is genuine – “very real,” to use his terms.
Attempting a ‘carrot and stick approach,’ the administration is working with five other world powers to strike a nuclear deal with the goal of curbing Tehran’s nuclear program by the end of the month. In return for Iran’s swearing off of nuclear aspirations, the coalition would suspend sanctions current in place against Iran.
According to Flynn however, Iran has already made it clear that they will seriously limit any inspections, making compliance verification incomplete at best. Flynn also expressed doubt that International sanctions could be resumed once they were lifted in good faith
He also reiterated the concerns of other analysts who say leniency with regard to Iran’s nuclear program will likely bring about a weapons race within the volatile region as Saudi Arabia and other nations seek nuclear capability in order to ensure their own safety from the rogue State.
With regard to the increasing violence and power being usurped by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Flynn admitted fears that he U.S. is not handling the situation as a serious threat. He expressed major concerns over ISIS, saying there is “absolutely no end in sight, and no clear U.S. policy” for dealing with it.