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Intel Report: Iran Refining Nuke Delivery System in Flagrant Violation of Ban

14 May 2017

Director of National Intelligence testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday.

"Homegrown extremists remain the most frequent and unpredictable terrorist threat to the United States homeland", Coats, who oversees the nation's intelligence community, told the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The director of national intelligence said Russian Federation and other countries, including China, North Korea and Iran, were using cyberspace to target United States and its allies, and will do so in future.

"The intelligence suggests we're going to need more to shake free this terribly challenging problem".

North Korea's missile tests in 2016, including a space launch that put a satellite into orbit, have shortened its pathway toward a reliable intercontinental missile that could strike the US, he said, and the North has expanded the size and sophistication of its ballistic missile forces.

He said that al-Qaeda and its network continue to pose a "significant terrorist threat overseas, as they remain primarily focused on local and regional conflicts".

Coats's testimony paired with a Worldwide Threat Assessment report, released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) Thursday.

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"If the DPRK had not had access to the powerful nuclear force and had not gotten itself ready to counter the United States and its vassal forces' provocation with merciless military counteraction, the U.S. would have committed without hesitation the same aggression act in Korea as what it committed against other countries", the official Korean Central News Agency quoted a foreign ministry spokesman as saying on May 1.

The U.S. intelligence community has confirmed that Iran is developing "a range of new military capabilities to monitor and target U.S. and allied military assets in the region, including armed UAVs [drones], ballistic missiles, advanced naval mines, unmanned explosive boats, submarines and advanced torpedoes, and anti-ship and land-attack cruise missiles", according to Coats.

The Trump administration is considering sending 3,000 to 5,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to help train Afghan security forces.

On Afghanistan, Coats said the situation "will very likely continue to deteriorate, even if global support is sustained".

But he said China can and should do more.

The deal has enhanced transparency of Iran's nuclear activities, Coats said, and he cited Obama administration estimates that the time it would take Iran to produce enough material for a nuclear weapon has been extended from a few months to about a year.

"Iran provides arms, financing, and training, and manages as many as 10,000 Iraqi, Afghan, and Pakistani Shia fighters in Syria to support the Assad regime", Coats said.

Intel Report: Iran Refining Nuke Delivery System in Flagrant Violation of Ban