Trump blasts own intelligence chiefs: ‘Naive on Iran’

President Trump criticized his intelligence officials after they said Iran was following the 2015 nuclear agreement struck with the Obama administration.

By World Israel News Staff

President Trump slammed his own intelligence officials on Wednesday, a day after they countered some of his claims in front of Congress.

“The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong!” he tweeted. “Be careful of Iran. Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!”

On Tuesday, CIA Director Gina Haspel, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that Iran appears to be in line with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal made during the Obama administration.

However, they warned that Tehran has threatened to restart its nuclear program if the U.S. keeps up the economic pressure.

Mr. Trump, however, said Iran is a “source of potential danger and conflict” but are only contained because of the strain on its economy.

On May 8, 2018, Trump exited the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an agreement under which the U.S. would ease crippling economic restrictions against Iran. In return, Iran agreed to limit its nuclear activities and allow in international inspectors.

But Trump, who had been vocal in his opposition to the deal during his election campaign, said in his May 8 announcement, “The deal allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium . . . in exchange for very weak limits on the regime’s activities.”

Trump reinstated all sanctions, which are taking a bite out of Iran’s economy. Their impact is expected to be felt still more this year. A Jan. 20 Gulf News reports says tens of thousands of jobs will be lost. Citing the Statistical Centre of Iran, the unemployment rate was 12.10 percent in March 2018, up from 11.9 percent in December 2017. Those economic sectors involved with international companies are expected to be the hardest hit.

European countries, who oppose abandoning the 2015 nuclear agreement, are trying to bypass the U.S. sanctions with a special payment system that they instituted today, Jan. 31, 2019. Trump has warned them not to attempt to evade sanctions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.