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US Intel Report Removes Iran and Hezbollah as Terror Threats

As the United States continues talks with Iran regarding the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, a troubling bit of news has been reported by The Times of Israel. A new U.S. intelligence report has removed both Iran and Hezbollah from the list of terror threats:

An annual report delivered recently to the US Senate by James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, removed Iran and Hezbollah from its list of terrorism threats, after years in which they featured in similar reports.

The unclassified version of the Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Communities, dated February 26, 2015 (PDF), noted Iran’s efforts to combat Sunni extremists, including those of the ultra-radical Islamic State group, who were perceived to constitute the preeminent terrorist threat to American interests worldwide …

The report said that it was unclear whether or not Iran would eventually decide to build nuclear weapons, but noted that should the Iranian government decide to pursue such a course, it would face no “insurmountable technical barriers to producing a nuclear weapon.” It lingered on Iran’s pursuit of intercontinental ballistic missile technology as a likely delivery system for a nuclear weapon, and delineated Iranian threats in the realms of counterintelligence and cyber warfare.

According to one Israeli think tank, the removal of Iran and its proxy Hezbollah from the list of terror threats, where they featured in previous years, was directly linked to the campaign against the Islamic State …

Israel, as well as Sunni allies of the US, has often warned that Iran, through Hezbollah and other proxies, has been sowing instability in the region …

Iran has made bellicose statements toward Israel, threatening to destroy the Jewish state, often citing Israeli talk of attacking its nuclear facilities, which it maintains are for peaceful purposes.

Hezbollah, which is based to Israel’s north in Lebanon and the Syrian Golan Heights, has largely refrained from attacking Israeli targets since the bloody Second Lebanon War of 2006, although there have been skirmishes along the border.

Tags: United States , Iran

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