Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Peter Flory Says There is NO EVIDENCE of Iranian Nuclear Proliferation to Terrorists

Iranian Proliferation: Implications for Terrorists, Their State Sponsors, and U.S. Counter-Proliferation Policy: " Mr. PITTS. Mr. Flory, would you speak to the broader regional and global implications of the Iranian program?

Mr. FLORY. Sir, I touched on this earlier. The immediate regional implication is that Iran, which by dint of its size and population and support for terrorism, already casts a shadow in the region, will cast an even longer shadow and an even darker shadow. That will affect—and that is, when you combine the nuclear program with the aggressive development of ballistic missiles, including the Shahab-3, which Under Secretary Bolton mentioned earlier, which basically can hit any of Iran's neighbors and countries further away that Iran has an animus against, such as Israel, the effects of this are several fold.

One of them is it threatens U.S. allies and friends in the region, and it threatens U.S. forces. It gives Iran the ability to coerce countries and to deter countries from doing anything about it. Whether that means to deter the United States from moving into the region, or with a greater reach maybe in some cases, of deterring other countries from allowing the United States either to use forces in their region or to move forces into their region. So, again, it allows Iran to expand its regional influence considerably.


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The impact is not limited to the region, however, because Iran, again, as Under Secretary Bolton noted and as the Director Tenet testified in his threat hearing earlier this year, Iran is continuing research and development on longer-range programs and continues work on a space launch vehicle which, and as I once saw it described by a CIA—an unclassified CIA paper described a space launch vehicle as an ICBM in disguise. So—and Iran said, I think last year, it specifically made a statement that it intended to continue research. And, of course, if you have something that is an ICBM in a disguise, then you are talking about the ability to reach out and threaten the United States itself as well as countries, say, in Western Europe that are not within the ambit of the Shahab-3 but that Iran may have a desire to threaten.

And that is not even touching on another aspect of the threat. In the opening statements, Members talked about Iran's support for terrorism, which is probably the single most consistent and implacable element of Iran's foreign policy over the last 30 years. As we saw on September 11th, the ultimate precision-guided weapon is a human being with a pair of eyes who can put a weapon anywhere within feet or inches of where it needs to be. And, of course, with nuclear weapons, you don't need that great a level of accuracy in the first place.

Let me be clear. I have not seen evidence that Iran is providing nuclear materials or thinking of providing nuclear materials or any other kind of WMD to terrorists. But the fact of the matter is, in a post-9/11 era, where nothing is unthinkable when you look at what Iran is doing with terrorism now, I mean, Iran is supporting Ansar al-Islam and its activities inside Iraq. You have Iranian clerics exhorting Iraqis to blow themselves up like the Palestinians for the purpose of killing coalition forces. You have the ongoing support for terrorist groups that are fighting Israel.


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Here, you have a regime—and this goes back to an earlier question I think by Mr. Rohrabacher on the nature of the regime. The nature of the regime is one of the core elements here. Here we have a regime that has used terrorism consistently as an element of its policy that, prior to September 11th, I believe had killed more Americans—it was linked to the death of more Americans through terrorism than any other regime, which is now working very hard and has just basically ignored another stop sign in its efforts to develop nuclear weapons. You add that to ballistic missiles, you add that to potential terrorist threat, you have here precisely what the President discussed in his national security strategy: The nexus of terrorists and State-sponsors of terrorists and State-producers of weapons of mass destruction.

So the impact of this program is—it is immediate. It is severe in the region. And it is potentially even greater."