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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid