US Intel Report Drops Iran From Terror Threat List

The most recent unclassified version of the Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Communities removed Iran and its proxy group Hezbollah from the list of terror threats. 

The report, published Feb 26, 2015, was delivered to the US Senate by National Intelligence director James Clapper. Despite Iran and Hezbollah being included for years as terror threats, the unclassified report conspicuously dropped them from its list amid the administration's ongoing negotiations with Iran. 

The assessment cited Iran’s efforts to combat Sunni extremists, most notably those affiliated with the Islamic State, and the nation's "intentions" to "dampen sectarianism, build responsive partners, and deescalate tensions with Saudi Arabia.” The Iran-funded Shiite Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah has been working against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, The report did warn, however, that some Iranian security leaders were "pursuing policies with negative secondary consequences for regional stability and potentially for Iran" and the nation's aggressive support of Shia communities was "fueling growing fears and sectarian responses."

The report also addressed the issue of Iran attaining a nuclear weapon, stating that should Iran choose to build a nuclear arsenal, it would face no "insurmountable technical barriers to producing a nuclear weapon.” The most likely delivery system for a nuclear weapon, the assessment found, is intercontinental ballistic missile technology.

Israeli think tank Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center said the removal of Iran and Hezbollah from the terror threat list was motivated by the Obama administration's ongoing negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program and the war on ISIS.

“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,” MAITIC's analysis states. The US Defense Intelligence Agency, the institute points out, still lists both Iran and Hesbollah as terrorism threats.