CIA chief warns Trump against ripping up Iran deal

Outgoing CIA Director John Brennan has said it would be the “height of folly” for President-elect Donald Trump to tear up Washington’s deal with Tehran, because it would make it more likely that Iran and others acquire nuclear weapons. He said it would be “almost unprecedented” for one administration to tear up an agreement made by a previous one. Since his election, Trump has been more circumspect than during the election campaign in refraining from discussing publicly the international deal with Tehran, which was intended to prevent the Islamic republic from developing nuclear weapons. But his pick to succeed Brennan as head of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, is a strident critic of the agreement.

I think it would be the height of folly if the next administration were to tear up that agreement. It would be disastrous, it really would.


In his interview with the BBC, Brennan also expressed hope that there would be an improvement in relations between Washington and Moscow, but suggested Trump should be wary of promises made by Russia, because of its past failure to deliver. He said Russia and the Syrian regime are responsible for the horrendous humanitarian situation facing Syrian civilians. Trump had said he might authorize the torture of detainees, including waterboarding, to gain information, but has since said he had received advice that made him rethink his approach. "I would counsel my successor not to go down that road any more,“ Brennan said.

Without a doubt, the CIA really took some body blows as a result of its experiences in the detention interrogation program. … I think the overwhelming majority of CIA officers would not want to get back into that business.

John Brennan, CIA director