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US Spy Chiefs Must 'Educate' Trump on Iran, Senate Minority Leader Claims

© REUTERS / Kevin LamarqueU.S. President Donald Trump announces a deal to end the partial government shutdown in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 25, 2019
U.S. President Donald Trump announces a deal to end the partial government shutdown in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 25, 2019 - Sputnik International
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Earlier, the US president condemned reports by top intelligence officials, which said that Iran was not pursuing its alleged nuclear weapons programme. Trump slammed the intelligence chiefs as "extremely passive and naive when it comes to Iran", suggesting that they should "go back to school".

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, has in a letter called on Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, CIA Director Gina Haspel, and FBI Director Christopher Wray to "educate" President Donald Trump on the situation in Iran by presenting him with "facts and raw intelligence". According to Schumer, it is crucial for the US that the intelligence community and the American president speak with a "unified voice".

"He is putting you and your colleagues in an untenable position and hurting the national interest in the process. You must find a way to make that clear to him", the Democratic leader wrote in his letter to the top intelligence officials.

President Donald Trump making a point during a speech at the American Farm Bureau Federation's 100th Annual Convention in New Orleans on 14 January 2019 - Sputnik International
Intelligence Community 'Wrong' About Iran, 'Should Go Back to School' - Trump

The US president and intelligence community have previously been divided in their views on Iran's ambitions for its nuclear programme. Dan Coats told the Senate Intelligence Committee that US intelligence had not found evidence that Iran was working on improving their nuclear capabilities or developing nuclear weapons. Trump slammed Coats' statements, saying that the intelligence community is "extremely passive and naive when it comes to Iran" and suggested that the "intelligence should go back to school".

Trump withdrew the US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018, which had lifted sanctions from Iran in exchange for it ensuring the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme. The US subsequently imposed several rounds of sanctions on the country's energy, banking and shipping sectors. Iran and other parties to the JCPOA slammed Washington's actions and agreed to continue adhering to the provisions of the accord.

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