Former CIA Director James Woolsey said Monday that alternative fuel is the only way to truly weaken Iran's and Russia's positions in the world.
Former CIA Director James Woolsey speaks during a briefing on Capitol Hill, Feb. 25, 2013. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
“Oil would be $60 per barrel instead of $100 per barrel, and that is the darkest day the ayatollahs have ever imagined,” Woolsey said at a gathering of pro-Israel Christians in Washington, D.C.
“If we want leverage over Iran, there's really only one way to do it,” Woolsey told attendees at a Christians United For Israel conference. “By the way, this is also – $60 or so a barrel oil – is also just about the darkest day Mr. Putin has ever seen. Russia doesn't make anything. When is the last time you stopped in a mall and saw something that said made in Russia? Russia gets along on oil and gas. Gas is complicated but oil is very straightforward. It is their cash cow. If their cash cow is suddenly worth about half of what it was before, they are very unhappy folks indeed.”
Woolsey, who now chairs the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, wants to change how vehicles are made to handle several liquid fuels, at a manufacturing cost of $100-$200 per vehicle — a comparable cost, he said, of installing a seatbelt.
“We have to make it possible for people to drive on other fuels,” Woolsey said. “You ought to do what we all ought to be able to do. That is pull into a filling station, have several pumps there of different types of fuel, decide at the pump what you want to drive on.”
Woolsey, who served as CIA director in the 1990s under President Bill Clinton, was part of a panel that talked about a host of international problems, primarily the current conflict in Gaza and the nuclear negotiations in Iran.
The U.S. government has said that the Russian government under President Vladimir Putin provided sophisticated weaponry to Russian separatists in Ukraine that was used to shoot down a Malaysian passenger jet last week and other aircraft.
The U.S. and Iran announced over the weekend they were extending their nuclear negotiations by another four months. Woolsey said he feared the U.S. and others in the world are being naive in dealing with Iran.
“The Persian word is 'taqiyya,' which means essentially, lying to infidels,” Woolsey said. “It's not just permitted, it's recommended. We are in far too many cases willing to believe what is coming at us from the Iranians without putting to it the kind of skepticism that we should.”
He faulted the Obama administration for an eagerness to negotiate on a reduction in uranium enrichment. Woolsey said uranium enrichment should be stopped, adding, “'unacceptable' means something different now than under Ronald Reagan and Harry Truman.”
“We are dealing with a very powerful movement, funded by Iranian oil, manned by Hezbollah, Hamas, manned by institutions that are tied to Iran,” Woolsey said. “And that we will see a signature on a piece of paper, we will see press conferences, we will see all kinds of praise from the mainstream media about how diplomatically sophisticated we are. And it will be taqiyya.”