Michael Morell says "nothing new" in Israeli PM's claims about Iran nuclear program

Morell on "Intelligence Matters" podcast

Former CIA deputy and acting director Michael Morell told "CBS This Morning" that there's "nothing new" in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent claims that "Iran lied" about their nuclear program.

"In 2007, 11 years ago, the intelligence community told the White House and Congress that Iran had a secret nuclear weapons program prior to 2003 that had stopped in 2003. So there's nothing new here in terms of the big picture," Morell, a CBS News senior national security contributor, said Wednesday. "There may be details here, and the intelligence community is going to have to figure that out, that help our understanding of what they were doing at the time."

On Monday, Netanyahu unveiled Iranian nuclear documents captured by Israeli intelligence, claiming the information proved Iranian leaders covered up a nuclear weapons program before signing a nuclear deal with the international community in 2015. Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, mocked Netanyahu in response early Tuesday, tweeting, "The boy who can't stop crying wolf is at it again."   

"What really happened here was an Israeli prime minister who was trying to influence an American president and an American public to be more supportive of an American president who's about ready to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement," Morell said.

Morell has more than 30 years of experience at the CIA. But he's also a podcast host. The new season of Morell's "Intelligence Matters" podcast is out today, featuring his conversation with former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden.

On "Intelligence Matters," Morell said he aims to have discussions of national security issues without politics.

"It used to be true that politics ended at the nation's shores. Politics didn't get involved in national security issues. That's not true anymore. So we want to have a place where we can talk about those issues … where there are different views, but people aren't scoring political points," Morell said. 

The podcast, initially developed in partnership with The Cipher Brief, is now produced by CBS News. Morell will discuss issues like counterterrorism, cyber-security, negotiating with adversaries and what lessons national security experts learn through their careers.

Watch the video above to see what Morell had to say about CIA deputy director Gina Haspel's nomination to be CIA director.