Former CIA Director Brennan hits Trump strategy on Iran

Former CIA Director Brennan hits Trump strategy on Iran
© Greg Nash

Former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanEx-CIA chief: I'm laughing at Trump Trump's Russia ambassador urged to resign by columnist in newspaper his family owns Hoyer: Trump committed 'treason' in Helsinki MORE on Tuesday blasted the Trump administration for its stance on Iran, saying that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want to use 'adversary' to describe Russia Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterms Roby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism MORE's hard-line posture toward Tehran and disavowal of a landmark nuclear deal had ultimately diminished the possibility of peaceful political change there.

"With wholesale condemnation of Iran and nuclear deal over past year, Trump Admin squandered opportunity to bolster reformists in Tehran and prospects for peaceful political reform in Iran," Brennan tweeted. "Bluster is neither a strategy nor a mechanism for exercise of U.S. power and influence."

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Brennan, who served as CIA director during the Obama administration, has been a frequent critic of Trump's foreign policy and has also fired back at the president's disparaging comments about the U.S. intelligence community.

Widespread demonstrations across Iran have raged since last Thursday, leaving at least 21 people dead. So far, 450 people have been arrested in the protests. 

The protests have largely expressed ire toward Iran's leaders for failing to deliver on the economic growth that they had promised as a result of a 2015 deal with the U.S. and other countries to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

Protesters have also voiced anger at what they see as the government's willingness to widen involvement in the region, while putting domestic issues on the back burner.

The demonstrations are the largest in Iran since 2009 after the election of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 

Iran's economy has long suffered under international sanctions. But the country's leaders promised an economic boom under the 2015 nuclear deal, which provided some sanctions relief.

Trump disavowed that deal in October, though the U.S. has not reimposed sanctions lifted under the framework.