Gates: Iran Still a Threat to Security

Nukes aside, defense secretary lists Tehran's destabilizing activities
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2007 9:20 AM CST
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, left, speaks with former Secretary of Defense, during President Clinton's administration, William Cohen before the start of the fourth International Institute...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Iran is still a grave threat to regional security, with or without nuclear weapons, Robert Gates told a Persian Gulf conference today. The defense secretary challenged Tehran, which crowed over a recent US intelligence reassessment of its halted nuclear program, to acknowledge other American intelligence findings of destabilizing activities.

"Since that government now acknowledges the quality of American intelligence assessments," Gates said dryly, "I assume that it will also embrace as valid American intelligence assessments of its funding and training of militia groups in Iraq; its deployment of lethal weapons and technology to both Iraq and Afghanistan; its ongoing support of terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas that have murdered thousands of innocent civilians; and its continued research and development of medium-range ballistic missiles that are not particularly cost-effective unless equipped with warheads carrying weapons of mass destruction."