POLITICS

CIA Chief Warns Of 'Tremendous' Consequences For Iran

03/22/2015 12:41 pm ET | Updated Mar 22, 2015

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan said Sunday that there would be “tremendous costs” to Iran if the country develops nuclear weapons.

The U.S. is among a group of nations trying to stop the Islamic republic from further developing its nuclear program. The Obama administration and its allies are offering to curb economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for the country abandoning its alleged efforts.

The White House is trying to strike what could be a historic agreement. Republicans in Congress and some powerful congressional Democrats have joined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to oppose a possible deal, at times pushing for bombing or other harsh tactics. Opponents of White House efforts warn that Iran could develop a nuclear weapon despite a U.S.-brokered agreement.

“I think they realize that there's going to be tremendous costs and consequences and implications if they were to decide to go for a breakout,” Brennan said on “Fox News Sunday” of Iran’s leaders, in reference to the nation’s potential capability to quickly develop a nuclear weapon.

“President Obama has made it very clear that we are going to prevent Iran from having the type of nuclear weapon that they may were going on track to obtain,” Brennan said. “So if they decide to go down that route, they know that they will do so at their peril.”

Even without a deal, Brennan said, the U.S. would continue to pressure Iran on a host of other issues, from its alleged backing of terrorist organizations to potential efforts to meddle in the affairs of other nations in the Middle East.

“I wouldn’t say that Iran is an ally right now,” Brennan later added.

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