State Sponsors of Terrorism
BUREAU OF COUNTERTERRORISM
Report: April 30, 2014
Designated as a State Sponsor of
Terrorism in 1984, Iran continued its terrorist-related activity,
including support for Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza, and for
Hizballah. It has also increased its presence in Africa and
attempted to smuggle arms to Houthi separatists in Yemen and Shia
oppositionists in Bahrain. Iran used the Islamic Revolutionary
Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and its regional proxy groups to
implement foreign policy goals, provide cover for intelligence
operations, and create instability in the Middle East. The IRGC-QF
is the regime’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting
Iran views Syria as a crucial
causeway in its weapons supply route to Hizballah, its primary
beneficiary. In 2013, Iran continued to provide arms, financing,
training, and the facilitation of Iraqi Shia fighters to the Asad
regime’s brutal crackdown, a crackdown that has resulted in the death
of more than 100,000 civilians in Syria. Iran has publicly
admitted sending members of the IRGC to Syria in an advisory role.
There are reports indicating some of these troops are IRGC-QF
members and that they have taken part in direct combat operations.
In February, senior IRGC-QF commander Brigadier General Hassan
Shateri was killed in or near Zabadani, Syria. This was the first
publicly announced death of a senior Iranian military official in Syria.
In November, IRGC-QF commander Mohammad Jamalizadeh Paghaleh was
also killed in Aleppo, Syria. Subsequent Iranian media reports
stated that Paghaleh was volunteering in Syria to defend the Sayyida
Zainab mosque, which is located in Damascus. The location of
Paghaleh’s death, over 200 miles away from the mosque he was reported
to be protecting, demonstrated Iran’s intent to mask the operations of
IRGC-QF forces in Syria.
Iran has historically provided
weapons, training, and funding to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist
groups, including the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Popular
Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC),
although Hamas’s ties to Tehran have been strained due to the Syrian
civil war. Since the end of the 2006 Israeli-Hizballah conflict,
Iran has also assisted in rearming Hizballah, in direct violation of
UNSCR 1701. Iran has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in
support of Hizballah in Lebanon and has trained thousands of its
fighters at camps in Iran. These trained fighters often use these
skills in support of the Asad regime in Syria.
Despite its pledge to support
Iraq’s stabilization, Iran trained, funded, and provided guidance to
Iraqi Shia militant groups. The IRGC-QF, in concert with Hizballah,
provided training outside of Iraq as well as advisors inside Iraq for
Shia militants in the construction and use of sophisticated improvised
explosive device technology and other advanced weaponry. Similar
to Hizballah fighters, many of these trained Shia militants then use
these skills to fight for the Asad regime in Syria, often at the behest
On January 23, 2013, Yemeni
authorities seized an Iranian dhow, the Jihan, off the coast of Yemen.
The dhow was carrying sophisticated Chinese antiaircraft missiles,
C-4 explosives, rocket-propelled grenades, and a number of other weapons
and explosives. The shipment of lethal aid was likely headed to
Houthi separatists in Northern Yemen. Iran actively supports
members of the Houthi movement, including activities intended to build
military capabilities, which could pose a greater threat to security and
stability in Yemen and the surrounding region.
In late April 2013, the
Government of Bosnia declared two Iranian diplomats, Jadidi Sohrab and
Hamzeh Dolab Ahmad, persona non grata after Israeli intelligence
reported they were members of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and
Security. One of the two men had been spotted in India, Georgia,
and Thailand, all of which were sites of a simultaneous bombing campaign
in February 2012, according to Israeli intelligence. Both
diplomats were subsequently expelled from Bosnia.
On December 29, 2013, the Bahraini
Coast Guard interdicted a speedboat filled with weapons and explosives
that was likely bound for Shia oppositionists in Bahrain, specifically
the 14 February Youth Coalition (14 FYC). Bahraini authorities
accused the IRGC-QF of providing opposition militants with explosives
training in order to carry out attacks in Bahrain. The
interdiction led to the discovery of two weapons and explosives cache
sites in Bahrain, the dismantling of a car bomb, and the arrest of 15
Iran remained unwilling to bring
to justice senior al-Qa’ida (AQ) members it continued to detain, and
refused to publicly identify those senior members in its custody. Iran
allowed AQ facilitators Muhsin al-Fadhli and Adel Radi Saqr al-Wahabi
al-Harbi to operate a core facilitation pipeline through Iran, enabling
AQ to move funds and fighters to South Asia and also to Syria. Al-Fadhli
is a veteran AQ operative who has been active for years. Al-Fadhli
began working with the Iran-based AQ facilitation network in 2009 and
was later arrested by Iranian authorities. He was released in 2011
and assumed leadership of the Iran-based AQ facilitation network.
Iran remains a state of
proliferation concern. Despite multiple UNSCRs requiring Iran to
suspend its sensitive nuclear proliferation activities, Iran continued
to violate its international obligations regarding its nuclear program.
For further information, see the Report to Congress on
Iran-related Multilateral Sanctions Regime Efforts (November 2013), and
the Report on the Status of Bilateral and Multilateral Efforts Aimed at
Curtailing the Pursuit of Iran of Nuclear Weapons Technology (September
Oroginal Source: http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2013/224826.htm
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