On the nuclear negotiations in Geneva with Iran:
That is what the game is about. This is not a complicated game. This is not chess. It is checkers. The rules are simple.
The Iranians are playing for time. Delay is a victory because ever since January of 2006 they have been enriching uranium non-stop. Our objective is to stop the enrichments. Unless it stops they will have a bomb and they'll have it soon.
So what came out of the meeting today? New talks are going to happen. That is an Iranian victory. New talks is more talks, endless.
And now all this excitement about the inspections at the Qom facility. This is a complete red herring. Until a week ago, nobody here had even heard about it. That facility isn't even operational, so we're going to have inspections that will drag on. They will have an IAEA report which will take months. The IAEA will do a report. Its report will be equivocal, as always, and they will give it to the U.N. Security Council. It will deliberate for weeks and months. In the end, the Chinese or the Russians will stop any actions. And we're not going to have anything.
And that will give them [the Iranians] six months or nine months or a year. Again, an Iranian victory.
And the reason it is? Because Qom isn't even operational as we speak. The real stuff is being produced at Natanz, and that isn't even in the negotiations today. They didn't even mention that.
So this is a complete Iranian victory, and any attempt to spin it the other way is, I think, spin and nothing more.
On the non-use of the word sanctions in the negotiations:
Language is important. Diction is important. If the word sanctions isn't used it's a message that the Iranians understand. We never speak about use of force. In fact, our secretary of defense has said all that an attack will do is delay it a few years, implying it is worthless anyway. So that is essentially off the table.
Obama said today we are prepared to move towards increased pressure. Parse that — "We are prepared.” "To move." "Towards." "IncreasedPressure." That doesn't exactly have the mullahs quaking in their boots, that soft, implied … oblique threat. There is nothing here.
We talk about carrots and sticks. This is carrots and marshmallows. …There is nothing in here that would make them change their position and stop the enrichment, which is the key.