Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. told a Senate committee Tuesday that American spy agencies believe Iran is willing to launch terrorist attacks on U.S. soil in response to perceived threats, The Washington Post
In prepared statements bfore the Senate Intelligence Committee, Clapper said the alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington shows the rogue state's aggression and new willingness to authorize attacks against the United States.
That plot “shows that some Iranian officials — probably including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei — have changed their calculus and are now more willing to conduct an attack in the United States in response to real or perceived U.S. actions that threaten the regime,” Clapper said in his remarks.
“We are also concerned about Iranian plotting against U.S. or allied interests overseas.”
His assessment indicated the increasingly volative relationship between the U.S. and Iran, and a potential escalation of aggression between the two countries as Iran continues on a path to develop nuclear weapons.
Clapper’s warning about Iran was delivered as part of the U.S. intelligence community’s annual overview of the nation’s most serious national security concerns, the Post reports.
“Our hope is that the sanctions ... would have the effect of inducing a change in Iranian policy toward their apparent pursuit of a nuclear capability,” Clapper said, adding that the U.S. is hoping such sanctions prevent further escalation of an already adversarial relationship.
“Obviously this is a very sensitive issue right now. We’re doing a lot with the Israelis,” Clapper added.
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