US sees Iran working to preserve nuclear deal

Rocket launch

"They are on that path, and they are committed to doing that", he said.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, May 11, 2017.

The assessment comes amid a mushrooming crisis for the Trump team as questions swirl over why the president fired his FBI director, who was overseeing an investigation into Russian election meddling and possible connections between Trump campaign associates and Russia a year ago.

They included Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, CIA director Mike Pompeo and acting Federal Bureau of Investigation director Andrew McCabe, newly installed after Trump fired the agency's chief James Comey this week.

Dan Coats tells the Senate intelligence committee that the deal extended the amount of time Iran would need to produce enough material for a nuclear weapon.

Coats said the situation will deteriorate and the Taliban will make gains, especially in rural areas.

"The Russians have upped their game using social media and other opportunities in ways we haven't seen before", said Coats.

Sunni extremists remain the primary terrorist threat to the US, with home-grown actors posing the biggest concern. The performance of Afghan national security forces will worsen due to weak military leadership, desertions and combat casualties, he predicted.

His comments came as Trump is set to receive Pentagon reccomendations this week on potential options in Afghanistan.

President Donald Trump is now weighing an increase of 3,000 to 5,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan in an effort to stabilize the fight against the Taliban and terror groups there.

If left unchecked, Stewart added, the "stalemate" will deteriorate in the Taliban's favor, risking "all the gains" from USA -backed efforts there.

"Kabul's political dysfunction and ineffectiveness will nearly certainly be the greatest vulnerability to stability in 2017", he wrote.

But, Coats said also that there is a possibility that chemical weapons could be used again on the Syrian people by the Syrian government and on other countries, too.

In addition, Coats said that "Russia is likely to be more aggressive in global affairs, more unpredictable in its approach to the USA". But much of the attention turned to Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, making his first public appearance in that role since President Donald Trump fired James Comey on May 9.

On North Korea, Coats called the threat posed from the nation's advancing weapons program "potentially existential threat".

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