"Trump and his top aides have taken a hard line on Iran, implying that the Islamist-led country still poses a nuclear threat despite its adherence to a 2015 accord that put curbs on its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Trump withdrew the U.S. from that nuclear deal, and has reimposed sanctions, although other international allies have stayed committed to the pact.
During the hearing, Coats said Iran isn't taking any steps to make a nuclear weapon. “We do not believe Iran is currently undertaking the key activities we judge necessary to produce a nuclear device," he said.
CIA Director Gina Haspel, who also spoke at the hearing, said Tehran, "at the moment, technically they're in compliance" with the deal.
But Coats also noted that Iranian officials have “publicly threatened to push the boundaries” of the nuclear deal if it did not see any benefits from it." politico
Well, pilgrims, I have resolutely maintained on SST that Iran has not had a nuclear WEAPONS program since 2003, having cancelled their research program then with the disappearance of the Iraqi threat. The 2007 NIE on Iran stated that explicitly but the Zionist lobby has blocked publication of an unclassified summary of subsequent judgments on this subject. Why? It is Israel's policy that Iran must be prevented from becoming strong enough to become the major hegemonic power in the ME. Trump's ignorance of realities in the region has enabled The Lobby to distort US policy to serve its purposes. To my surprise the IC chiefs had the guts to tell the world what is true about Iran and to point out other areas in which their agencies differ in judgment from the administration, but the Iran judgement is IMO the most important. Neocons like Pompeo, Bolton and E. Abrams do not reason from evidence. They reason from ideology and their shared hostility to anyone who does not bow down to the US. They and The Lobby currently control Trump's foreign policy especially in the ME.
At the same time we must remember that these agencies are "mature bureaucracies." That means they have existed long enough to have become "self licking ice cream cones." These are organizations for which institutional survival and the welfare of the all important leader of each agency are primary interests. You don't think so? Just remember that the grandees at the top of these agencies are totally dependent on their directors for success in the their careers.
That is what makes the performance of Coats and Haspel so impressive. Bravo! pl
See my essay linked below on "Artists and Bureaucrats."