US sees Iran working to preserve nuclear deal

"Homegrown extremists remain the most frequent and unpredictable terrorist threat to the United States homeland", Coats, who oversees the nation's intelligence community, told the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Opposition forces are calling for the removal of President Nicolas Maduro, blaming him for an economic crisis that has saddled the oil-rich country with major shortages of food, medicine and other basic goods.

He said that while ISIS had lost territory in Iraq and Syria, the intelligence community has assessed its threat to the U.S. continues due to its ability to both direct and inspire attacks.

"There are plenty of weapons running around there and the risk is real, serious, and ultimately a threat to South and Central America".

Coats' comments are coming in his prepared remarks.

The country's GDP fell 0.9 percent previous year, driven by the crisis in its ally Venezuela.

"First, our adversaries are becoming bolder, more capable and more adept at using cyberspace to threaten our interests and shape real-world outcomes", said Coats.

On Iran, whose nuclear ambitions preoccupied Washington under President Barack Obama, Coats said the US sees Tehran maintaining last year's agreement that contains its program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Iran continues to boost the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria and act as the leading state sponsor of terrorism even as the nuclear deal temporarily limits the country's ability to build a nuclear weapon, according to a top intelligence chief.


Assad will maintain military strength as long as Iran and Russian Federation, two of his key allies, keep backing him, Coats said.

Coats, a member of the committee when he was a senator from IN, said he attends daily intelligence briefings with Trump that tend to last at least 45 minutes.

However, Coats refused to reveal the US intelligence community's estimation about when the DPRK would have an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of taking a nuclear warhead.

Coats, who was testifying on global threats facing the U.S.

"The intelligence community assesses that the political and security situation in Afghanistan will nearly certainly deteriorate through 2018, even with a modest increase in military assistance by the United States and its partners", he said.

WASHINGTON, D.C.-In a Senate hearing on world wide threats against the United States, Dan Coats, former In senator and now the Director of National Intelligence, testified Thursday morning that Russia, China, and possibly even North Korea could target the USA with cyber attacks. But he warned that "left unchecked, that stalemate will deteriorate in the favor of belligerence".

Stewart later said that Iran sees itself as the "dominant regional power", a position that might later put it in conflict with Russian Federation if their interest diverge from supporting Assad.

The assessment also concludes that Iran remains the "foremost state sponsor of terrorism".

"It views the deal as a means to remove sanctions while preserving some nuclear capabilities", Coats said.


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