CIA Creates New Mission Center against Iran
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The US Central Intelligence Agency has established an organization focused exclusively on gathering and analyzing intelligence about Iran.
The Iran Mission Center will bring together analysts, operations personnel and specialists from across the CIA to bring to bear the range of the agency’s capabilities, including covert action, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
In that respect, it is similar to a new Korea Mission Center that the CIA announced last month to address North Korea’s efforts to develop long-range nuclear missiles.
The CIA did not publicly announce the new Iran organization. The agency declined to comment.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo is a longtime Iran hawk, and the US officials said his emphasis on the threat the country poses to US national security interests is reflected in the establishment of the new center.
In April, in his first public remarks since taking the helm at the spy agency, Pompeo warned that Iran was “on the march.”
To lead the new group, Pompeo picked a veteran intelligence officer, Michael D’Andrea, who recently oversaw the agency’s program of lethal drone strikes and has been credited by many of his peers for successes against al-Qaeda.
The New York Times earlier reported D’Andrea’s appointment.
D’Andrea, a former director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, is known among peers as a demanding but effective manager, and a convert to Islam who works long hours. Some US officials have expressed concern over what they perceive as his aggressive stance toward Iran.
The move signals US President Donald Trump’s willingness to take a “hard line” with Iran, a pledge he made during his campaign run.