The State Department’s 2014 Country Reports on Terrorism (.pdf) once again listed Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism and called the Islamic Republic a “proliferation concern,” according to an analysis of the report written by Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall and published today by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA).
Chapter 3 of the report, which deals with “State Sponsors of Terrorism,” again puts Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria on the list of terror-supporting states. The chapter notes that Iran was already “designated” as a terror-supporting state in 1984 and gives an elaborate rundown of the various spheres in which it operates. It says Iran tried to smuggle weapons to Palestinian terror groups in Gaza and that, while still focusing on the Middle East; it also stepped up efforts to boost its influence in Africa, Asia, and, to a lesser extent, South America. The document states further that the Qods Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which is the operative arm of Iran’s foreign policy and the mechanism for cultivating and sponsoring foreign terror elements, provides cover for intelligence operations and sows instability in the Middle East.
The State Department report explains the designation by noting Iran’s support of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, including its recruiting of Iraqi and Afghani troops to fight on the dictator’s behalf; its support of the Shiite militias that “have exacerbated sectarian tensions in Iraq” by committing human rights abuses against Sunnis; and its support of terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The report also notes that Iran’s arming of Hezbollah violated United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701.
In addition to Iran’s extensive record as a state sponsor of terrorism, the State Department report found that Iran “remains a ‘state of proliferation concern’,” noting that “Despite multiple UNSCRs requiring Iran to suspend its sensitive nuclear proliferation activities, Iran continued to be in noncompliance with its international obligations regarding its nuclear program….”
There are concerns, expressed by a diverse group of experts including Foreign Policy editor David Rothkopf, former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, former State Department official Aaron David Miller, and Washington Institute for Near East Policy fellows Mehdi Khalaji, Soner Cagaptay, and James Jeffrey, that Iran, flush with cash from unfrozen funds as part of a nuclear deal, will step up its efforts to support terror and destabilize the Middle East.
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