Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Trump is Trying to Politicize Intelligence to Support His Iran Policy. That's Dangerous.

| Aug. 04, 2017

The relationship between the intelligence community and President Trump surely has been tested in the first six months of this administration. But the president’s reported demand for intelligence to support his policy preference to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal risks politicizing intelligence analysis, with potentially grave consequences not only for national security decision-making but also for our ability to address a wide range of international threats.

Under a 2015 law governing the Iran nuclear agreement, the president is required to certify every 90 days whether Iran “is transparently, verifiably, and fully implementing the agreement,” “has not committed a material breach with respect to the agreement,” and “has not taken any action, including covert activities, that could significantly advance its nuclear weapons program.”

Although this certification is a political call, it necessarily is based on an intelligence assessment. Intelligence analysts, who are privy to our clandestine collection as well as the intelligence shared with us by key liaison intelligence services, and who are trained in applying proper analytic tradecraft, are in the best position to judge whether Iran is spinning too many centrifuges, holds too much enriched uranium or is secretly pursuing a nuclear weapon.

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For Academic Citation: Cohen, David S. .“Trump is Trying to Politicize Intelligence to Support His Iran Policy. That's Dangerous..” The Washington Post, August 4, 2017.