Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell said the U.S. needed to keep the Iranians out of the Iraqi crisis Monday on CBS This Morning.
The terrorist group ISIL has seized large parts of Iraq and is marching towards the capital city of Baghdad, sending the country into turmoil. Morell said the U.S. could not, however, allow Iran to gain a foothold in Iraq.
Reuters reported the U.S. is contemplating doing just that.
"I do not believe it is in the interest of the United States to work with Iran," Morell said. "There is a long-term struggle going on in the Middle East between Iran and our allies, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the moderate Gulf states, a fight going on for influence. I don't think we want to give Iran a foothold in Iraq, so we need to help the Iraqis. The moderate Gulf states need to help the Iraqis. We need to keep the Iranians out of this."
President Obama has ruled out putting American troops on the ground, but he said Friday he and his national security team would review options to assist beleaguered Iraqi security forces.