Cohen: Iran Still a Threat

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MANAMA, Bahrain: In an attempt to further isolate Iran, Defense Secretary William Cohen disclosed Tuesday that it has test fired newly acquired air-launched cruise missiles. Cohen warned that the new weapons system substantially increases Iran's ability to intimidate its neighbors and interrupt commerce in the Persian Gulf. Cohen issued similar warnings at each stop along his five-nation Gulf tour today. The statements were intended to persuade U.S. allies in the Gulf that their desire for a more accommodating approach to Iran is not in their best interest. "Iran continues to pose a threat to the whole region," he said. Gulf nations have been optimistic that Iran will become more cooperative because of the election of Mohammad Khatami, a moderate religous cleric, to the Iranian presidency. The U.S. is unconvinced that Iran will abide by U.S. demands to end its support for terrorism and its opposition to the Middle East peace process.