- Associated Press - Sunday, July 25, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former CIA director said Sunday that military action against Iran now seems more likely because no matter what the United States does diplomatically, Tehran keeps pushing ahead with its suspected nuclear program.

Michael V. Hayden, a CIA chief under President George W. Bush, said that during his tenure a strike was “way down the list” of options, but he told CNN’s “State of the Union” that such action now “seems inexorable.”

He predicted Iran will build its program to the point that it’s just below having an actual weapon. Mr. Hayden said that would be as destabilizing to the region as the real thing.

U.S. officials have said military action remains an option if sanctions fail to deter Iran.

Iran says its nuclear work is for peaceful purposes such as power generation.