Former CIA Director James Woolsey was interviewed on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday, and he was less than sanguine about the ongoing nuclear negotiations between the West and Iran. Woolsey argues that even if a deal is struck, Iran will cheat and still have a nuclear weapon within a couple of years.

Of note, Woolsey is currently the chairman of the lobbying organization Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He was head of the CIA under Bill Clinton back in the mid-1990s, and was also a government official under G.W. Bush.

James Woolsey Iran

Woolsey says Iran could have nukes within a year or so

Woolsey highlighted that whether a nuclear deal with Iran that included verification measures actually came to pass or not, the rogue nation could have nuclear weapons capabilities in a “year or so.” “If we stop the talks, clamp further sanctions, introduce far more competition than exists today into the oil business … we could slow them down.”

He also says the administration’s current strategy of negotiating with Iran whether they took specific uranium enrichment steps in 2015 or before is clearly “not going to slow them down.”

Iran trying to become imperial power like Hitler’s Germany

Iran is trying to expand its empire much like Nazi Germany before World War II, Woolsey said in the Monday interview, pointing to the nation’s attempts to exert its influence in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.

He says it’s all about ideology for Iran. “They are doing it on a highly ideological basis. They never cease chanting ‘Death to Israel’ and ‘Death to the United States,'” Woolsey explained animatedly. “They are an imperial power and trying to become more of an imperial power.”

The Iranians are liars

Woolsey also claims that the White House is clearly being naive about any kind of Iran deal. He says this is because the religiously motivated Iranians believe that they are fully justified in “lying to infidels”. He goes on to state unequivocally that: “They will not hesitate to lie about everything they are doing.”

Convinced that Iran will cheat on any deal

For all these reasons, Woolsey says the U.S. should simply walk away from the six-nation nuclear talks with Iran. “Given Iran’s aggressiveness and the fanaticism of its leaders, I don’t think we can do a reasonable deal with them,” he explains, “They’ll cheat.”

More in Iran deal

When asked to speculate on why the U.S. is participating in the talks, he said, “I think the president wants a good relationship with Iran and an agreement so he can claim a diplomatic victory.”

Woolsey also emphasized that the U.S. has already caved in on the key issue of continued uranium enrichment for “medical purposes”, which means the rogue nation is somewhere between 80% and 90% of the way to developing a nuclear weapon.

Also of note, political analysts noted the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear ambitions were coming down to the wire on Monday, with significant differences remaining between the two sides less than two days before a deadline for an agreement to serve as a basis for a final agreement envisioned for this summer.