House intelligence report makes clear diplomacy won't end Iranian threat

Iran's much-ballyhooed proposal yesterday to enter into "serious negotiations" with the United States and Europe on an array of issues - including its so-called "nuclear program" - is being seized upon by some as a evidence that the Islamic Republic of Iran is actually prepared to abandon the ambitions and behavior that endanger American and international security interests.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. As a brilliantly timed, bipartisan report released today by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) makes plain: "Iran poses a serious threat to U.S. national security and to the security of our friends and allies."

In 29-pages of hard-hitting, unclassified findings and analysis, the Intelligence Committee's report makes clear not only the true character of the Iranian regime - notably, its determination to spread the Shiite version of Islamofascism by various deadly means. It also documents ways in which that purpose is being systematically and steadily advanced. These include:

The Iranian regime is fixated on developing nuclear weapons and maintains a highly developed infrastructure of laboratories and industrial facilities to support this objective.

The Iranian regime is acting to retain and modernize key elements of its offensive chemical weapons research and development capability and dispersed mobilization facilities, and probably has an offensive biological weapons program.

The Iranian regime has the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East, and is developing missiles with a range of up to 4,000 km that will be capable of striking Germany, Italy and Moscow.

The Iranian regime provides funding, training, weapons, rockets and other material to numerous terrorist groups.

The Iranian regime is actively supporting the insurgency in Iraq that daily takes the lives of U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians.

Taken together, the factual information and conclusions of the HPSCI report make one point abundantly clear:

The Iranian mullahocracy will be happy to pursue a delaying strategy to prevent the West from interfering with its nuclear weapons program and other threatening activities. But it will neither be deterred nor appeased into foreswearing such ominous policies and activities.

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