Template:Globalize Template:Terrorism Since the declaration of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, the government of Iran has been accused by the United States of funding, providing equipment, weapons, training and giving sanctuary to terrorists.
The United States State Department describes Iran as an “active state sponsor of terrorism.” US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice elaborated stating, “Iran has been the country that has been in many ways a kind of central banker for terrorism in important regions like Lebanon through Hezbollah in the Middle East, in the Palestinian Territories, and we have deep concerns about what Iran is doing in the south of Iraq.”
- 1 Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps
- 2 Ministry of Intelligence and Security
- 3 Capture of American hostages
- 4 State Department report on terrorism in 2011
- 5 Hezbollah
- 6 9/11
- 7 India
- 8 Israel
- 9 Iraq
- 10 Kenya
- 11 Taliban insurgency
- 12 Other allegations
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps[edit | edit source]
After the fall of the Shah, the Islamic Republic of Iran established the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC - Pasdaran-e Inqilab) to domestically promote the government's social policy. The organization is accused of spreading its ideology in neighboring regions by training and funding "terrorist organizations". By 1986, the group had 350,000 members and had acquired a small naval and air force. By 1996, the ground forces numbered 100,000 and the naval forces numbered 20,000. They are believed to use the proxy Al Quds Force to train the Islamic militants. Currently Al Quds conducts training units in Iran and Sudan.
The Pasdaran also is believed to have connections with underground organizations in the Middle East. They have a strong influence on groups in Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. The largest group of Pasdaran connections is made up of 12,000 Iranians, Afghans, Iraqis, Lebanese Shiites and North Africans who either received training in Iran or during the Afghan War and are presently trained in Sudan, Lebanon, and Iran. The Hezbollah party provides intelligence, logistics and operational units in Lebanon. The second largest operation relates to Kurds, particularly Iraqi Kurds. The third largest is made up of Kashmiris, Balouchis and Afghans.
In 1995, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard held a conference with worldwide organizations accused of engaging in terrorism including the Japanese Red Army, the Armenian Secret Army, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, the Iraqi Da'wah Party, the Islamic Front for the Liberation of Bahrain and Hezbollah in Beirut for the sole purpose of providing training to these organizations supposedly to help in the destabilization of Gulf States and aid assistance to militants in these countries to replace the existing governments with Iran-like regimes.
The United States State Department claims that this organization provides support for Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad in Israel. They also say that Pasadaran has given much support and training to terrorists supporting the Palestinian resistance. They are also accused of aiding the Iraqi insurgency in southern Iraq. On September 26, 2007, the United States Senate passed legislation by a vote of 76-22 designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization. U.S. President George W. Bush and Congress labeled the group under the guidelines established by Executive Order 13224 issued after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
In August 2012, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei instructed the Revolutionary Guards and Quds Force to increase their terror attacks due to what the Iranian government perceived as their interests being threatened by United Nations sanctions and the West's support of Syrian opposition.
Ministry of Intelligence and Security[edit | edit source]
Iran is believed to use the Ministry of Intelligence and Security to gather intelligence to plan terrorist attacks. The ministry is believed to use liaison activities with supported terrorist groups and Islamic fundamentalist movements. The ministry itself is believed to carry out some terrorism mostly directed at political dissidents.
Capture of American hostages[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Iran Hostage Crisis
On November 4, 1979, 500 Iranians stormed the American Embassy and took 90 employees and visitors captive. They later released non-Americans, women and African-Americans, and held the 52 remaining Americans hostage for 444 days. The Americans would hold an embargo against Iran and demanded that the hostages be freed. Iran demanded unblocking of Iran's frozen assets in the United States ($24 billion) to release the hostages. Iran also demanded U.S. based Shah of Iran to be arrested and given back to Iran. They would later agree to accept $8 billion in frozen assets in exchange for the release of the hostages.
In 2000, the former hostages sued the Iranian government for state sponsored terrorism under the 1996 Antiterrorism Act. They would win the suit but would not be awarded damages because of a 2002 judgment that the terms of their release barred awarding any damages.
State Department report on terrorism in 2011[edit | edit source]
In July 2012, the United States State Department released a report on terrorism around the world in 2011. The report states that "Iran remained an active state sponsor of terrorism in 2011 and increased its terrorist-related activity" and that "Iran also continued to provide financial, material, and logistical support for terrorist and militant groups throughout the Middle East and Central Asia." The report states that Iran has continued to provide "lethal support, including weapons, training, funding, and guidance, to Iraqi Shia militant groups targeting U.S. and Iraqi forces, as well as civilians," despite pleding to support the stabilization of Iraq, and that the Qods Force provided training to the Taliban in Afghanistan on "small unit tactics, small arms, explosives, and indirect fire weapons, such as mortars, artillery, and rockets." The report further states that Iran has provided weapons and training to the Assad regime in Syria which has launched a brutal crackdown on Syrian rebels, as well as providing weapons, training, and funding to Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, among others, and has assisted in rearming Hizballah. The report states as well that Iran has remained unwilling to bring to justice senior members of Al Qaeda that it continued to detain, and also refused to publicly identify these senior members, as well as that Iran has allowed Al Qaeda members to operate a core facilitation pipeline through Iranian territory, which has enabled Al Qaeda to carry funds and move facilitators and operatives to South Asia and elsewhere.
Hezbollah[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Hezbollah
During the 1980s and 1990s, a wave of kidnappings, bombings, and assassinations of Western targets, particularly American and Israeli, occurred in Lebanon and other countries. Claiming responsibility for these 200 attacks that led to at least 800 deaths, was the resistance organization of Islamic Jihad. The attacks, attributed to the group, have included:
- The 1982-1983 Tyre headquarters bombings
- The blowing up of a van filled with explosives in front of the U.S. embassy in Beirut killing 58 Americans and Lebanese in 1983.
- The 1983 Beirut barracks bombing of the U.S. Marine and French 'Drakkar' barracks which killed 241 American and 58 French peacekeepers.
- The hijacking of TWA flight 847 holding the 39 Americans on board hostage for weeks in 1985 and murder of one U.S. Navy sailor
- The bombing of the Israeli Embassy killing twenty-nine in 1992
- The bombing of a Jewish community center in Argentina killing 95 in 1994
Islamic Jihad is widely believed to be a nom de guerre of the Lebanese Islamist political movement and social service agency Hezbollah, which was founded in 1982 with many millions of dollars of aid and considerable training and logistical support from the Islamic Republic. Many believe the group promotes the Iranian agenda and that its goal is to overthrow the moderate governments in the area and create Islamic Republics based on that of Iran as well as the destruction of Israel.
Its motives include assassinations, kidnappings, suicide bombings, and guerilla warfare. It is believed to be one of the Islamic resistance groups that made suicide bombings common use. Other attacks credited to Hezbollah include:
- The attack on the Khobar Towers housing complex in Dharan, Saudi Arabia, killing 19 U.S servicemen in 1996.
- Firing of hundreds of rockets into northern Israel on a daily basis and capture of Israeli soldiers in 2006
Henry Crumpton, the State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism stated, “[Iran is] clearly directing a lot of Hezbollah actions. Hezbollah asks their permission to do things, especially if it has broader international implications.” However it seemed that when reformist Iranian President Mohammad Khatami took office in 1996 the Iran-Hezbollah connection declined. But some commentators believe that the election of the current president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has increased Iranian support for the group.
9/11[edit | edit source]
The U.S. indictment of bin Laden filed in 1998 stated that al-Qaeda "forged alliances . . . with the government of Iran and its associated terrorist group Hezbollah for the purpose of working together against their perceived common enemies." On May 31, 2001, Steven Emerson and Daniel Pipes wrote in The Wall Street Journal that "Officials of the Iranian government helped arrange advanced weapons and explosives training for Al-Qaeda personnel in Lebanon where they learned, for example, how to destroy large buildings." The 9/11 Commission Report stated that 8 to 10 of the hijackers on 9/11 passed through Iran and their travel was facilitated by Iranian border guards. The report also noted that "a senior operative of Hezbollah" (Imad Mughniyah) was on the flights that convoyed the future hijackers from Saudi Arabia to Tehran, along with associates that Kenneth Timmerman describes as "Iranian agents". Judge George B. Daniels ruled in a federal district court in Manhattan that Iran bears legal responsibility for providing "material support" to the 9/11 plotters and hijackers in Havlish, et al. v. Osama bin Laden, Iran, et al. Included in Judge Daniels' findings were claims that Iran "used front companies to obtain a Boeing 757-767-777 flight simulator for training the terrorists", Ramzi bin al-Shibh traveled to Iran in January 2001, and an Iranian government memorandum from May 14, 2001 demonstrates Iranian culpability in planning the attacks. Defectors from Iran’s intelligence service testified that Iranian officials had "foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks." The extent of Iranian involvement has been questioned due to major differences between the religious ideologies of Iran and al Qaeda; according to the 9/11 Commission report, Mughniyah's presence on flights carrying the hijackers to Iran may have been a "remarkable coincidence." After the commission called for "further investigation" into a possible Iranian role in the attacks, President George W. Bush reiterated his view that "There was no direct connection between Iran and the attacks of September 11."
India[edit | edit source]
In July 2012, The Times of India reported that New Delhi police have concluded that terrorists belonging to a branch of Iran’s military, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, were responsible for an attack on 13 February 2012, during which a bomb explosion targeted an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi, India, wounding one embassy staff member, a local employee, and two passers-by. According to the report, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards may have planned other attacks on Israeli targets around the world as well.
Israel[edit | edit source]
Iran does not recognize the State of Israel. Israel claims Iran has a historical connection to military attacks in Israel, lending support to groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad. Recently they have been accused of taking control of "many terrorist cells" in Yasser Arafat's Fatah Movement in Palestine and Israel believes they are the architects of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. Israeli intelligence believes that Iran controls the majority of terrorism in Israel.
Iraq[edit | edit source]
Claims[edit | edit source]
Iran has been accused by the United States of giving weapons and support to the Iraqi insurgency (which includes the terrorist group al-Qaeda). The United States State Department claim that weapons are smuggled into Iraq and used to arm Iran's allies among the Shiite militias, including those of the anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi army. Evidence for this is that weapons, including mortars, rockets and munitions bear Iranian markings. U.S. commanders report that these bombs inflicted 30 percent of all American military casualties in Iraq excluding Anbar province, where these weapons have not been found. Furthermore U.S. intelligence has obtained satellite photographs of three training camps for Iraqi insurgents near Iran's capital where they are allegedly trained guerilla tactics, kidnapping and assassination.
Admiral and United States Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell stated in an interview with the Council on Foreign Relations that there is overwhelming evidence that Iran is arming the insurgency in Iraq, "The Iranians today, we have clear evidence, are providing the very weapons that are causing U.S. servicemen and women to die. That’s clear, that’s not refuted, that’s not hawkish, that’s not shaded. That is the fact." He stated that Iran is providing explosively formed projectiles, a deadly weapon to the Shiite militants in Iraq.
During his address to the United States Congress on September 11, 2007, Commanding officer for the United States forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus noted that the multinational forces in Iraq have found that Iran's Quds force has provided training, equipment, funding, and direction to terrorists. “When we captured the leaders of these so-called special groups … and the deputy commander of a Lebanese Hezbollah department that was created to support their efforts in Iraq, we’ve learned a great deal about how Iran has, in fact, supported these elements and how those elements have carried out violent acts against our forces, Iraqi forces and innocent civilians.”
Counter-claims[edit | edit source]
Iran has denied that it supports the Iraqi insurgency, and claims that it is the presence of US troops that aggravates violence. Abbas Araghchi, Iran's deputy foreign minister, said "For the sake of peace and stability in Iraq we need a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign forces. Violence in Iraq is good for no country in the region. Security of Iraq is our security and stability in Iraq is a necessity for peace and security in the region." Iran has strong ties with Iraq Shia political groups, and would rather see the Shia dominated government remain in power than have Iraq splinter. Iraqi prime minister Nouri Maliki has praised Iran for its positive and constructive stance on Iraq, including providing security and fighting terrorism.
Iraqi officials, including Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, have repeatedly stated that US allegations of Iranian weapons smuggling are not shared by them and represent only the US' speculation.
Kenya[edit | edit source]
Aggrey Adoli, Kenya's police chief in Kenya's coastal region, said on 22 June 2012 that two Iranians, Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammad and Sayed Mansour Mousavi, believed to members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, were arrested and suspected of being involved in terrorism. One of the Iranians led counter-terrorism officers to recover 15 kilograms of a powdery substance believed to be explosive. The two Iranians allegedly admitted to plotting to attack United States, Israeli, Saudi, or British targets in Kenya. In court, Police Sgt. Erick Opagal, an investigator with Kenya's Anti-Terrorism Police Unit, said that the two Iranians had shipped over 100 kilograms of powerful explosives into Kenya.
It was later revealed that the targets included Gil Haskel, Israel's ambassador to Kenya. During a visit to Kenya in August, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon praised Kenya for its efforts in stopping Iranian terror threats against Israeli and Jewish targetsfor its efforts to stop Iranian terror threats against Israeli and Jewish targets. Uganda, Ethiopia, and Kenya all expressed concern with Ayalon regarding Iran's attempts to increase terror activity in Africa.
Taliban insurgency[edit | edit source]
U.S. and British officials have accused Iran of giving weapons and support to the Taliban insurgency (which is considered by the U.S. as a terrorist organization) in Afghanistan. Chris Alexander, the deputy United Nations representative to Kabul, has stated that the UN has seen no evidence of this, and that weapons and arms are principally smuggled across the porous Pakistani border. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has praised Iran, saying "we have had, very good, very close relations... so far, Iran has been a helper and a solution".
Other allegations[edit | edit source]
Along with the above allegations, Iran is also accused of other acts of terrorism. Including:
- The 1988 murder and kidnapping of Colonel William Higgins in Lebanon.
- The Fatwa placed on Indian-born British author Salman Rushdie for his novel The Satanic Verses. In April 1996, Mohammad Yazdi, the head of Iran's judiciary stated that "[the fatwah on Rushdie] will finally be carried out someday".
- Mykonos restaurant assassinations. On September 17, 1992, Iranian-Kurdish insurgent leaders Sadegh Sharafkandi, Fattah Abdoli, Homayoun Ardalan and their translator Nouri Dehkordi were assassinated at the Mykonos Greek restaurant in Berlin, Germany. In the Mykonos trial, the courts found Kazem Darabi, an Iranian national who worked as a grocer in Berlin, and Lebanese Abbas Rhayel, guilty of murder and sentenced them to life in prison. Two other Lebanese, Youssef Amin and Mohamed Atris, were convicted of being accessories to murder. In its 10 April 1997 ruling, the court issued an international arrest warrant for Iranian intelligence minister Hojjat al-Islam Ali Fallahian after declaring that the assassination had been ordered by him with knowledge of supreme leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and president Ayatollah Rafsanjani
- The 1994 AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires, after Argentina's decision to suspend a nuclear technology transfer contract to Tehran.
- Ansar Al-Mujahideen appears to have a state licensed office in Iran.
See also[edit | edit source]
- State terrorism
- Allegations of state terrorism in Sri Lanka
- Allegations of state terrorism by the United States
References[edit | edit source]
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- U.S. State Department Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Chapter 3: State Sponsors of Terrorism Retrieved 09-07-12
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[edit | edit source]
- State Sponsor of Terrorism Timeline
- REALITE-EU Iran’s Arsenal and Arms Support for Terrorist Groups
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