Iran remains world’s ‘leading state sponsor of terror,’ US report confirms

The State Department’s annual report on terrorism identified the Iranian regime as the world’s top source of terror, with a financial apparatus and fundraising network that spans the globe.

By: World Israel News Staff

The US State Department released an annual report on Wednesday confirming that “Iran remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.”

Commenting on the report’s findings, the department’s coordinator of counterterroism, Nathan A. Sales, stated, “[Iran] is responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining U.S. interests in Syria, in Yemen, in Iraq, in Bahrain, in Afghanistan, and in Lebanon, using a number of proxies and other instruments such as Lebanese Hezbollah and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp’s Quds Force.”

Sales noted, “The threats posed by Iran’s support for terrorism are not confined to the Middle East; they are truly global.”

While the report identifies a 23 percent decrease in the total number of terrorist attacks worldwide in 2017, with total deaths due to terrorist attacks decreasing by 27 percent, the report cautions that “this overall trend was largely due to dramatically fewer attacks and deaths in Iraq.”

With regard to geographical concentration of attacks, 59 percent of all attacks took place in five countries, Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Pakistan, and the Philippines, with 70 percent of all deaths due to terrorist attacks occurring in Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, and Syria.

Speaking specifically about the Iranian regime, Sales warned, “[It] brings to its terrorist activities the resources of a state. We have seen Iran’s and its proxies’ terrorist-related activities across the globe. There are active fundraising networks in places as far afield as Africa, [and] South America. We’ve seen weapons caches planted around the world. We’ve seen operational activity not just in Lebanon by Hezbollah, but by Iran-backed terrorists in the heart of Europe. Iran uses terrorism as a tool of its statecraft. It has no reservations about using that tool on any continent.

Sales continued, “And as far as Iran-backed terrorist organizations are concerned, we’ve arrested a number of operatives who allegedly were casing targets in support of Iran-backed terrorist organizations and they’re now facing charges in federal court.”

In addition to data on Iran, the report also discusses “a number of major strides that the United States and our international partners made to defeat and degrade terrorist organizations in 2017,” including work “with allies and partners around the world to expand information sharing, improve aviation security, enhance law enforcement and rule of law capacities, and to counter terrorist radicalization with a focus on preventing recruitment and recidivism.”