Report: US misjudged Iran threat
Intelligence Committee report slams spy agencies for underestimating Tehran
Ynet and Reuters
A report published in Washington Wednesday warned that the United States underestimated the Iranian threat as a result of "significant gaps" in intelligence information collected by American spy agencies.
The report, prepared the House Intelligence Committee, presented Iran as a growing threat on the US and criticized American spy agencies for failing to properly assess Tehran's weapons programs.
The report cited "significant gaps in our knowledge and understanding of the various areas of concern about Iran" and added that "policymakers will need high-quality intelligence to assess Iranian intentions to prepare for any new round of negotiations," with the Islamic republic.
Authors of the report also stressed that the US intelligence community must provide the American Administration with credible analysis regarding Iran's plans in all matters related to weapons of mass destruction, while not fearing to submit extreme conclusions.
"A special concern is major gaps in our knowledge of Iranian nuclear, biological, and chemical programs," the report said.
'Iran has largest inventory of missiles in Mideast'
More Farsi-speaking staffers in intelligence agencies and stronger counter-intelligence efforts also were recommended.
The 29-page report, submitted to committee chairman Peter Hoekstra, a Michigan Republican, and senior Democrat Jane Harman of California, was accompanied by a classified document detailing the US intelligence community's shortcomings.
The report comes amid concern that Iran is aiding terrorism in Iraq and helping Hizbullah stage missile attacks on Israel from southern Lebanon .
The house report noted that besides having a likely chemical weapons development program and an offensive biological weapons program, Iran has the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East.
The missiles could be integrated with nuclear weapons some time in the next decade, it said.
But it also said it was possible Iran could be engaged in a "denial and deception campaign" to exaggerate progress on its nuclear program, as Saddam Hussein apparently did with his weapons of mass destruction programs.
AMAN chief reports container ships packed with weapons for Hizballah are being unloaded at Syria’s northern port of Latakia
August 24, 2006, 6:21 PM (GMT+02:00)
The hardware from Iran is smuggled across the border and onward to South Lebanon, said Maj. General Amos Yadlin in his briefing to the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee Wednesday, Aug. 24.
DEBKAfile adds: Weapons deliveries through Syria are entering Lebanon at an accelerated pace, mostly by convoy through the northern Lebanese border. The Israeli Air Force is no longer impeding the traffic although it has been given an all-clear from Washington.