An undated photo showing a Qods proxy force with a rocket launcher. FILE

An undated photo showing a Qods proxy force with a rocket launcher.

US Intelligence Says Iran Threatens Americans At Home And Abroad

3/9/2022

The United States intelligence agencies’ 2022 annual report predicts Iranian attacks on US “persons”, especially in the Middle East but possibly in America.

"We assess that Iran will threaten US persons directly and via proxy attacks, particularly in the Middle East,” said the 2022 Annual Threat Assessment published by the Office of Director of National Intelligence Tuesday. “Iran also remains committed to developing networks inside the United States—an objective it has pursued for more than a decade.”

While “proxy attacks” refers mainly to Iraqi militia targeting US troops, CBS News on Tuesday said it had two "non-public" assessments submitted to Congress by the State Department in January 2022 citing a "serious and credible threat" on the lives of former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Trump administration Iran envoy Brian Hook.

This, the network said, had necessitated "round-the-clock, US taxpayer funded diplomatic security details" for both men. Former president Donald Trump reportedly cost the secret service over $1.3 million last year in transport and hotel bills alone.

CBS also cited an 2021 indictment of four Iranians, including intelligence agents, over a plan to kidnap “a Brooklyn journalist,” subsequently self-identified as Masih Alinejad, an Iranian opposition activist who supported of Trump’s tough position on Iran. Niloufar Bahadorifar, one of the Iranians, who was arrested last July, awaits trial on charges of sanctions violations and conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

NY-based Iranian activist Masih Alinejad

The US intelligence report ranks Iran with Russia, China, and North Korea as countries posing serious threats to US national security. It also argues Iran’s conventional missiles and support for Hezbollah and Palestinian groups endangers the security of Washington's ally, Israel.

‘Pan-Islamic power’

The report claims that the election of President Ebrahim Raisi (Raeesi) − after three years of US ‘maximum pressure’ sanctions and two years of deep recession − in 2021 has "invigorated" Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to try to mold Iran into a "pan-Islamic power" that tries to spread its influence in the Muslim world.

The intelligence services do concede that “Iran is not currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activities that we judge would be necessary to produce a nuclear device.” The report notes that Iran had expanded its nuclear program since the US left the 2015 non-proliferation agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), including enriching uranium to 60-percent purity. The report also predicts Tehran will consider further enriching uranium up to 90 percent – considered ‘weapons grade - if it does not receive relief from ‘maximum pressure’ sanctions.

With Iran and world powers reported close to agreeing the restoration of the JCPOA, including the easing of ‘maximum pressure,’ US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that this would not preclude the US from acting against Iran "when it's engaged in actions that threaten the US, its allies and partners.”

The report also highlighted Iran's cyber capabilities. "Iran’s growing expertise and willingness to conduct aggressive cyber operations make it a major threat to the security of U.S. and allied networks and data," it maintains, noting multiple cyber-attacks between April and July 2020 on Israeli water facilities.

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