News / Middle East

US Designates Iran Opposition Faction a Terrorist Group

The United States on Wednesday officially designated the Iranian opposition group Jundallah as a terrorist organization.  The Sunni Muslim group is said to have been responsible for several lethal attacks in Iran in recent years, including bombings at Shi'ite mosques in the city of Zahedan.  

Although Iran is on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, the Departments of State and Treasury designated one of the Tehran government's most radical opponents as a terrorist organization.

In tandem announcements, State and Treasury officials said Jundallah has used terrorist tactics, including suicide bombings and targeted assassinations, in a series of attacks in Iran since 2003.

The United States says the group was behind bomb attacks at mosques in the southeastern Iranian city of Zahedan in 2009 and in July of this year that killed more than 70 people and wounded hundreds more.

The State Department's acting deputy spokesman Mark Toner said the decision to blacklist Jundallah shows consistency in U.S. anti-terrorism efforts.

"Today's announcement reflects our commitment in rooting out terrorism wherever it exists," said Toner. "Jundallah has indiscriminately killed Iranian civilians.  And despite the recent capture and execution of its former leader, the group has continued its activities and, frankly, remains capable of carrying out future attacks."

Iran has repeatedly accused the United States of supporting Jundallah and other Iranian opposition factions.  Its captured former leader, Abdul Malik Rigi, said on Iranian state television before his execution in June that the United States had promised the group weapons and a base in Afghanistan.

State Department spokesman Toner said the United States does not sponsor any form of terrorism.  He urged other governments in the region to take similar action against Jundallah.

"We've repeatedly stated and I'll reiterate again that the United States has not provided support to Jundallah," he said. "In fact, we don't support any form of terrorism.  We'll continue to work with the international community to curtail support for terrorist organizations."

Wednesday's action freezes all assets Jundallah might have in the United States and makes it illegal for Americans to provide the group material support, including donations.

The State Department's list of foreign terrorist organizations contains the names of nearly 50 groups, including al-Qaida, Lebanon's Hezbollah movement and the Iranian opposition group The People's Mojahedin  of Iran, or MEK.

The exiled MEK, which has released information on Iran's covert nuclear program in recent years, has campaigned for its removal from the U.S. blacklist.  In July, a U.S. federal appeals court ordered the State Department to review the matter.

But a senior State Department official says he is unaware of any pending change in the MEK's status.  The group is accused of bomb attacks before Iran's Islamic revolution that killed U.S. defense contractors in Iran, among others.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid