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Iran Keeps Top Terror Distinction

Daniel Benjamin, U.S. Coordinator of the Office of Counterterrorism (file)
Daniel Benjamin, U.S. Coordinator of the Office of Counterterrorism (file)

The U.S. State Department's annual report on international terrorism found the Islamic Republic of Iran is still the most active state sponsor of terrorism in the world.

In the U.S. State Department's recently released annual report on international terrorism, the Islamic Republic of Iran keeps the reprehensible distinction of being "the most active state sponsor of terrorism in the world."

In introducing the report to the press, Daniel Benjamin, U.S. Coordinator of the Office of Counterterrorism, spoke of Iran's role:

"Iran has long been the foremost state sponsor of terrorism, supporting Hezbollah, as well as Hamas and other Palestinian rejectionist groups. Iran's financial, material and logistic support for terrorist and militant groups in the Middle East and Central Asia has had a direct impact on international efforts to promote peace. It has threatened the economic stability of the Gulf, and has jeopardized the tenuous peace in southern Lebanon and undermined the growth of democracy."

The report says that the Qods Force, an arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, the IRGC, is the Iranian regime's primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad. It continues to supply Iraqi militants with training and weapons that have killed Iraqi and Coalition troops, as well as civilians. The Qods force also provides training and weapons to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Additionally, the report notes, it was originally a Qods Force proposal to attack the Argentine-Jewish Mutual Association in Buenos Aires in 1994. The terrorist bombing that took place there resulted in the deaths of 85 civilians, and wounded more than 150 others. Senior members of the IRGC, the Qods Force, and Iranian government officials were indicted by the Government of Argentina for their alleged roles in the attack. In 2007, Interpol issued a "red notice" [an international alert notice for a person wanted by a national judicial authority] for 6 individuals wanted in connection to the bombing. One of them, Ahmad Vahidi, is currently Iran's Defense Minister.

Iran, as President Barack Obama has stated, is the home of a great people with a great and storied past. The support of the Iranian government for terrorist activity and organizations bloodies not only innocent victims, but stains Iran's most noble traditions. Such support for terrorism must end.