For several decades now since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran has had a longstanding connection with terrorism. In particular, Malakoutikhah (2018) assert that, the nation has been recognized as a state sponsor of terrorism and predominantly accused of supporting terrorism around the world. Iran has been accused of providing training, finances, and weapons, as well as a safe haven for terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. At the same time, it is important to note that Iran has also suffered from terrorist attacks, although its security has proven superior to that of its neighbors such as Syria and Iraq. Nonetheless, regardless of the claim, we analyze and present Iran’s involvement in sponsoring global terrorism.
Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran has continually supported terrorism for several reasons. Iran has projected its ideology through various terrorist groups disrupting peace progress in the Middle East and disrupting progress in the region. According to Manni (2012), terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad rely heavily on Iran for support, and Iran is willing to continue providing this support as long as these groups serve their interests. Additionally, Iran’s sponsorship is unique compared to other state’s support in that Iran does not hide it or deny it. In fact, Iran shows little discretion in sponsoring terrorist activities. Consistently, the United States Department of State (2018) assert that in 2017, Iran supported several Iraqi Shia terrorist groups such as Kata’ib Hizballa. The U.S. Department of State also highlight that Iran sees the Assad regime as a crucial ally and views Syria and Iraq as crucial in their supply of weapons to Lebanese Hizballah. Using financial and residency enticements, Iran has managed to coerce and facilitate Shia fighters from Pakistan and Afghanistan to participate in the Assad regime brutal fight and crackdown in Syria. Since the end of the Israeli-Lebaneese Hizballah conflict ended in 2006, Iran has continued to violate the UNSCR 1701 directive by continuing to supply Lebanese Hizballah with missiles, rockets, and arms. Additionally, the country has continued to provide training, funding, and weapons to Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups. Besides, Iran maintains a robust offensive cyber program that has continued to sponsor cyberattacks on various foreign governments.
Evidently, there is no doubt that Iran has and will continue to sponsor terrorist organizations. Until the international community takes meaningful action, Iran will continue to spread its influence throughout the Middle East and help advance terrorist agenda and missions.
Malakoutikhah, Z. (2018). Iran: Sponsoring or Combating Terrorism?. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 1-27. doi.org/10.1080/1057610X.2018.1506560
Manni, N. F. (2012). Iran’s Proxies: State Sponsored Terrorism in the Middle East. Global Security Studies, 3(3), 34-45.
United States Department of State. (2018). Country Reports on Terrorism 2017 – State Sponsors of Terrorism: Iran. Refworld. Retrieved from https://www.refworld.org/docid/5bcf1f6fa.html
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