In its annual survey on global terrorism, released on Wednesday, September 19, the State Department said that Iran and its proxy militias are responsible for escalating multiple conflicts in the region, as well as undermining US interests there.
The report read: “Designated as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1984, Iran continued its terrorist-related activity in 2017, including support for Lebanese Hezbollah, Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza, and various groups in Syria, Iraq, and throughout the Middle East.”
The survey also explained that the Iranian Regime used its Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and Qods Force to provide support to terrorist organizations, provide cover for associated covert operations, and increase instability in the region.
The State Department survey specifically said that Iran was responsible for causing violence in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. It even said that Iranian fighters and Iran-backed militias, (i.e. Lebanon’s Hezbollah) have come out of the Syrian civil war, where Iran was supporting dictator Bashar Assad, emboldened and with valuable battlefield experience they seek to leverage elsewhere.
The State Department report also warned of a robust offensive cyber program run by the Iranian Regime, which has in the past sponsored cyber attacks against foreign government and private sector corporations (i.e. petrochemicals, defence contractors). This lines up with warnings earlier this week from cyber security firm FireEye who said that Iran could be plotting another cyber attack on the US in response to sanctions that will be imposed in November.
The State Department’s survey reported a 24 per cent decrease in terrorist attacks across the globe between 2016 and 2017, which is largely due to a sharp decline in the Islamic State (IS) extremist group, which has been largely defeated. Their members are regrouping in Asia and Europe, but they are still much less of a threat than Iran.
This new information from the State Department proves that sanctions are the right way to deal with the mullahs. By cutting off their access to the global financial markets and preventing them from selling their oil, which is 70% of their exports, the world can limit the amount of money that Iran can use to fund its terrorist operations.