Iran is the world's "most active state sponsor of terrorism.” In its latest "Patterns of Global Terrorism" report, the U.S. State Department says that in 2003, Iran's "Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Ministry of Intelligence and Security were involved in the planning of and support for terrorist acts." The report says Iran backs terrorist groups that target Israel and harbors senior members of al-Qaida.
Cofer Black, the U.S. Coordinator for Counterterrorism, says that the Iranian government’s many security agencies do much more than collect information:
"They have and develop relationships with terrorists and terrorist groups to be in a position to command and control terrorist actions in response to national command authority."
Ambassador Black says that Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as well as Hezbollah, are among the terrorist groups that have received financial and logistical support from the Iranian government:
"They are the ones that provide the weapons and armament that are funneled to Hezbollah to kill innocent people, sent through Syria. They provide safe haven to leadership elements of the al-Qaida organization who, very likely, are in contact with their operatives overseas that are planning and attempting to execute attacks against innocent men, women, and children."
Ambassador Black says the U.S. takes Iranian support for terrorism seriously:
"These guys are very dangerous. They operate globally. They have killed people. They take actions that directly impact innocent men, women, and children."
The people in charge of the Iranian government, says Ambassador Black, "need to consider their future and what it is that Iran is going to stand for." That means, among other things, ending Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism.