The Trump administration has named Michael D’Andrea as the new CIA Iran chief in an indication that it will be taking a hard line against Iran.
D’Andrea is probably best known for being the CIA officer who oversaw the Bin Laden hunt and drone strike campaign that took out thousands of Islamist militants, according to The New York Times.
His role as Iran chief is a clandestine one that is normally not named, but his identity was previously published in other reports, so he has been named in this instance. Even so, officials and other contacts referred to him in their official comments only as "him," and did not name him themselves, the Times reported.
D’Andrea, 60, is a convert to Islam and has been deeply involved in the fight against Islamic extremist groups for many years, according to the Economic Times. He headed the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Center during the 2000s. When his identity was exposed in 2015, he left the Counter-Terrorism Center.
Trump has called Iran "the number one terror state" since his campaign, and had pledged to undo the deal struck under Obama in which the nation agreed to limits on its nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions, the Times reported. Trump has not yet done so, and may be signaling that he will use other means to take a hard line against Iran instead, the Times suggested.
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