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7 February 2012 - 13:23

Obama administration’s top intelligence official, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, in purposely and maliciously prepared testimony[1] to the panel’s annual session to review global threats to the US in the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that “some Iranian officials — probably including supreme leader (Ayatollah) Ali Khamenei — have changed their calculus and are now more willing to conduct an attack in the United States in response to real or perceived US actions that threaten the regime.”

He said the United States was also concerned about plotting by Iran against American or allied interests overseas, adding that “Iran’s willingness to sponsor future attacks in the US or against our interests abroad probably will be shaped by Tehran’s evaluation of the costs it bears for the plot against the ambassador as well as Iranian leaders’ perceptions of U.S. threats against the regime.”
He said “We assess Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons, in part by developing various nuclear capabilities that better position it to produce such weapons, should it choose to do so. We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons. Iran nevertheless is expanding its uranium enrichment capabilities, which can be used for either civil or weapons purposes”. This confirms Iran announcement about nuclear civilian activity and it is not clear why US intelligent accept otherwise. Report continues that “Iran’s technical advancement, particularly in uranium enrichment, strengthens our assessment that Iran has the scientific, technical, and industrial capacity to eventually produce nuclear weapons, making the central issue its political will to do so. These advancements contribute to our judgment that Iran is technically capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium for a weapon, if it so chooses. Iran would likely choose missile delivery as its preferred method of delivering a nuclear weapon. Iran already has the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East, and it is expanding the scale, reach, and sophistication of its ballistic missile forces, many of which are inherently capable of carrying a nuclear payload. Although other intelligence officials indicated that while there was no evidence of any Iranian plots in the US, but his remarks seems to intend to put both the Iranians and the American intelligence community on notice that high priority would be given to ferreting out information about possible plans to stage attacks in this country.
Inconsistent and controversial written statement also “did not provide any details on what types of attacks Mr. Clapper thought were possible, and senators did not ask him about it during the panel’s annual session to review global threats to the US”[2].
He said that Iran’s nuclear decision making is guided by a cost-benefit approach, which offers the international community opportunities to influence Tehran. Iranian leaders undoubtedly consider Iran’s security, prestige, and influence, as well as the international political and security environment, when making decisions about its nuclear program. Iran’s growing inventory of ballistic missiles and its acquisition and indigenous production of anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM) provide capabilities to enhance its power projection. One the most contradictory point in this report is US intelligence understanding about Iran cost-benefit approach and report assertion about missile strategy which is opposite to each other. This means that if “Iran views its conventionally armed missiles as an integral part of its strategy to deter or retaliate against forces in the region, as he said, so it is vital for Iran to follow this strategy and cost-benefit approach is meaningless.   This intentionally report shows that US and its allies try to escalate tension with Iran over its peaceful nuclear program as psychological war. In the mean time they are trying to build support for increased sanctions against Iran, when Iran has accepted IAEA inspector and is dealing with 5+1 negotiations in a smooth manner.
It seems this assessment by US spy agencies which highlights new risks, but the Obama administration with carrot-stick policy intends to increase pressure on Iran in light of new sanctions by UN and its allies individually to halt Iranian peaceful nuclear energy activity.
US is eyeing this activity, long a source of simmering concern, with new urgency an this report suggest that Iran is closing in on the ability to develop a bomb. So a series of explosions, assassinations and computer attacks targeting Iran nuclear program have led many analysts to conclude that a covert conflict is already underway[3].
On the other hand Iran has announced severally its nuclear activity is for peaceful, energy-producing purposes and all aspects of its efforts are under control of IAEA and has good cooperation with this agency. Iran has criticised also the US and Israel for mysterious developments including targeted killing of yet another Iranian nuclear scientist in Tehran on Jan. 11, as well as an earlier cyber attack on the country’s largest uranium-enrichment facility. Unfortunately Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs didn’t take enough advantage in light of legal actions either in International organisations or pursuing a file by its legal representative in International courts against US neither those assassinations of Iranian scientists nor capturing unmanned airplane RQ 170 in Iran territory. 


[1] http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/288481/james-clapper-testimony-01-31-2012.pdf

[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/01/world/intelligence-chief-sees-al-qaeda-likely-to-continue-fragmenting.html?_r=1&ref=ericschmitt

[3] http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/iran-is-prepared-to-launch-terrorist-attacks-in-us-intelligence-report-finds/2012/01/30/gIQACwGweQ_story.html

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