General Hayden: Iran Will Be More Active in Iraq in 2012
Foreign and finance ministers from the six Gulf Cooperation Council nations hold a meeting in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on December 18, 2011 ahead of a GCC summit the following day that focused on growing turmoil in the Middle East and fears of Iran's growing influence following the American withdrawal from Iraq. (AFP/Getty Images)
January 13, 2012
| Security
| Middle East and North Africa
In an exclusive interview with, former CIA Director Michael Hayden says Iran is likely to be more active in Iraq in 2012, moving in to fill the vacuum left by the withdrawal of U.S. troops. The United States, he says, was a “moderating influence” in Iraq. With the Americans out, Iraqis are reemerging from their “sectarian corners,” ready to fight, and are more likely to fall under the influence of Iran, and also al-Qaeda.Hayden served as director of the National Security Agency from 1999-2005 and as director of the CIA from 2006-2009, under President George W. Bush. He said the timing of the U.S. announcement that it would withdraw completely from Iraq last year was “disturbing,” noting that it came within a few weeks of the revelation of the Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States.
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