New Delhi(PTI): Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday tore into Pakistan for fomenting terrorism…
Washington DC, Dan Joseph: Iran and Hezbollah no longer pose a terror threat to the United States or its allies. At least according to director of national intelligence, James Clapper.An annual security report submitted recently to the US Senate by James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, removed both Iran and Hezbollah from the list of terrorism threats to the United States for the first time in years.
The unclassified version of the “Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Communities” dated 26 February, noted Iran’s efforts to fight “Sunni extremists”, including elements affiliated with the Islamic State group who were perceived to constitute the “preeminent terrorist threat to American interests worldwide”.
Last year’s report described the global terrorist activity of Lebanon’s Shia Hezbollah group to have increased in recent years to “a level we have not seen since the 1990s”, however this year’s report mentioned the group only once saying it faces a threat from ISIS and Al-Nusra Front near Lebanon’s orders.
Meanwhile, despite removing Tehran from the list, the report described it as source of cyber-attacks and a regional threat to the United States because of its support for Syrian regime President Bashar Al-Assad and its hostile policies against Israel.
Well, apparently, they have been very helpful when it comes to fending off other terrorist groups such as ISIS, so this year they’re both getting a pass.
The report describes Iran’s regional role in largely positive terms focusing on the Islamic States “intentions to dampen sectarianism, build responsive partners, and deescalate tensions with Saudi Arabia,” but cautioned that “Iranian leaders—particularly within the security services—are pursuing policies with negative secondary consequences for regional stability and potentially for Iran.”
It may not be a coincidence that President Obama is currently attempting to negotiate with Iran in efforts to slow the nation’s efforts to acquire a nuclear weapon.
Additionally, Hezbollah, a Shiia terror group that is largely funded by Iran has been fighting the Islamic State as well, so they have been removed from the list of terror threats as well.
One Israeli think tank, the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, broke down the decision as largely political.
“We believe that this results from a combination of diplomatic interests (the United States’ talks with Iran about a nuclear deal) with the idea that Iran could assist in the battle against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and maybe even in the battle against jihadist terrorism in other countries.” It also noted the Iran and Hezbollah were both listed as terrorism threats in the assessment of another American body, the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and Lebanese Hezbollah are instruments of Iran’s foreign policy and its ability to project power in Iraq, Syria, and beyond. Hezbollah continues to support the Syrian regime, pro-regime militants and Iraqi Shia militants in Syria. Hezbollah trainers and advisors in Iraq assist Iranian and Iraqi Shia militias fighting Sunni extremists there. Select Iraqi Shia militant groups also warned of their willingness to fight US forces returning to Iraq.”
While Iran and Hezbollah are still seen as official terror threats according to the U.S. Defense intelligence agency, the new assessment from the Director of National Intelligence seems to be less concerned with a nation that is currently attempting to reshape the Middle East by becoming a nuclear power.