News / Middle East

US Report: Iran's State-Sponsored Terrorism Rises

US Report: Iran's State-Sponsored Terrorism Risesi
X
May 31, 2013 10:42 AM
The United States says 2012 saw a marked resurgence of Iran's state sponsored terrorism, including its aid to the Syrian regime during its two-year crackdown on the Syrian people. The U.S. State Department makes the accusation in its annual report to Congress on the global state of terrorism. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Zlatica Hoke
— The United States said 2012 saw a marked resurgence of Iran's state-sponsored terrorism, including its aid to the Syrian regime during its two-year crackdown on the Syrian people.   The U.S. State Department makes the accusation in its annual report to Congress on the global state of terrorism.

The report said both Iran and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah were exceptionally active in plotting terrorist activities last year, and provided a broad range of support to Syria's regime in its crackdown on the Syrian people.

A spokeswoman for the State Department, Jennifer Psaki, said Thursday that Washington is concerned about the involvement of foreign fighters in the Syrian conflict. 

"We are very concerned about foreign fighters, whether they're in Syria, or the overflow of violence into neighboring countries.  And that's something we've expressed frequently here. And we've been very clear about our concerns over the regional instability caused by this crisis in Syria," Psaki stated.

The report also said al-Qaida's central leadership in Pakistan and its affiliate in Yemen weakened in 2012.  But as a result, some groups in the network became more independent.  

U.S. President Barack Obama made a similar observation in a major speech on counterterrorism last week. 

"That means we will face more localized threats like what we saw in Benghazi, or at the BP oil facility in Algeria, in which local operatives - perhaps in loose affiliation with regional networks - launch periodic attacks against Western diplomats," Obama said. "Companies and other soft targets, or resort to kidnapping and other criminal enterprises to fund their operations."

The State Department report said terrorist attacks occurred in 85 countries in 2012, most of them in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

Middle East analyst Matthew Duss at the Center for American Progress links the recent increase of violence in Iraq with the unrest in Syria.

"The movement of fighters, the movement of goods, the reopening of smuggling routes through which fighters traveled through Syria into Iraq - in some cases are now moving in the opposite direction," he said. "But still, any time you have a situation like this where you essentially have ungoverned spaces in an environment of conflict, it is going to give rise to situations like this.

Duss said the violence in Iraq is primarily a reflection of continuing political divisions, which are not addressed through appropriate political channels.  He said giving voice to opposing groups, even some militants, can weaken terrorist organizations.

The State Department report said any long-term effort to fight terrorism must include building the capabilities worldwide to counter ideology that fuels terrorism.

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 public 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