A former CIA operative who says he tried to warn the agency about faulty intelligence on Iraqi weapons programs now contends that CIA officials also ignored evidence that Iran had suspended work on a nuclear bomb.
The onetime undercover agent, who has been barred by the CIA from using his real name, filed a motion in federal court late Friday asking the government to declassify legal documents describing what he says was a deliberate suppression of findings on Iran that were contrary to agency views at the time.
The commander of the US navy's Fifth Fleet warned on Monday that the United States will not allow Iran to shut the Strait of Hormuz, a key oil supply route in the Gulf.
"They will not close it... They will not be allowed to close it," Vice-Admiral Kevin J. Cosgriff said at a press conference in Bahrain, where the Fifth Fleet is based.
His remarks followed comments by the chief of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards who issued a new warning last week against any attack against the country over its controversial nuclear drive.
"It is natural that when a country is attacked it uses all of its capabilities against the enemy, and definitely our control of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz would be one of our actions," Jafari said.
The strait between Iran and Oman is a vital conduit for energy supplies, with as much as 40 percent of the world's crude oil from Gulf oil producers passing through the waterway.
The White House declined to comment Monday on a news report that US lawmakers last year approved 400 million dollars to ramp up covert operations in Iran to undermine Tehran's leadership.
"I couldn't comment either way," spokeswoman Dana Perino said after The New Yorker magazine reported tat the US Congress passed US President George W. Bush's funding request for a dramatic increase in such secret operations.
Asked about the likelihood of US military action against Tehran's disputed nuclear program before the president leaves office in January 2009, Perino said Bush "is singularly focused on trying to solve this issue diplomatically."
The New Yorker, which cited former military, intelligence and congressional sources, said the funding revealed a "major escalation" in clandestine operations aimed at destabilizing the Islamic republic's religious leadership amid concerns over Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
...Iran has Russian anti-ship missiles that are to the Exocet (the weapon that nearly defeated the British in the Falklands) what an F-22 is to a WWII-era Spitfire, and that there are no effective countermeasures. Our Fifth Fleet, which patrols the Persian Gulf, is completely vulnerable
What would happen if, for whatever reason, Iran sank a couple of American warships? George Bush would find another megaphone and another telegenic pile of bubble to stand on. The Andrew Sullivans and Thomas Friedmans of the world would drag their laptops and their Huggies with them as they dive under their beds, and again write trembling jibberish praising their Savior in Chief. And millions who only recently wandered out of Camp Jingo would scurry back in mortal fear.The cowed millions would demand action, and action they would get. Bush would round up his nuclear posse and unleash an unprecedented retaliation. Iran would glow for millennia with the radiation of a thousand nuclear warheads in the first all-out nuclear strike in history. Millions of Iranians, or perhaps tens of millions, would die. And Red State America would cheer.