So, I am a big supporter of the (approach of) diplomacy-dialogue-sanctions and international pressure.
Iran is in a part of the world that is not very stable. And to continue on the path that I believe they are on, which is to achieve nuclear weapons capability on the one hand, or (provoke) some kind of strike on the other, would result in significant conflict.
The consequences, known and unknown, are extremely serious.
So, that speaks to both the importance and the priority of reaching a conclusion where Iran figures out it is not in their interest to have a nuclear weapon. It is in their best long-term interest to not have that capability. To achieve that state without a strike is optimal. Is it doable? That question is still out there.
Question: What is your assessment of the inability of the Iraqis to put together a workable government?
Mullen: Well, I’m increasingly concerned about their inability to stand up this government. From a security standpoint, all that I see is still tracking. But the politics there are, from my perspective, too slow, and they need to stand this government up.