Post the 1979 revolution in Iran, the country’s officials deployed assassins to eliminate dissidents there. Those killings weren’t the only acts of terror.
Funding Terrorist Organizations
U.S. Marine and Embassy locations were bombed in 1983 by Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah. Three hundred or more people died. Most Americans had lost their lives to Hezbollah than from that of any other international organization, at least before the attacks of 9/11.
The groups backed by Iran didn’t only commit acts of terror on Americans. They murdered those who sided with Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war and killed dissidents in Europe.
In 1996, terrorists affiliated with Iran blew up the Khobar Towers, a military housing unit, in Saudi Arabia. Approximately 400 people were wounded and 19 were killed. Iran is considered an active participant in sponsoring terrorism and supports groups like Hamas.
Violence Against Israel
Israelis are the target of attacks from Palestinian groups who receive financial backing from Tehran. These attacks foster a notion that a Jewish state should not be existence. The violence also serves to terminate the peace process, which makes Iran less isolated in the Arab world.
The leaders of Hezbollah have received financial aid from Iran that has directly influenced the group’s popularity in the Arab world, therefore helping Iran to remain less isolated.
It remains unknown to what degree Iran has connections with Sunni jihadist groups affiliated with al-Qaida.
A Post 9/11 Relationship
Post 9/11, Iran cooperated with the United States by moving terrorists to their home nations to face trial. Iran is not consistent on this topic.Although Iranian officials say they have Sunni extremists monitored, they have refused to turn them over to international courts. This has produced friction between the United States and Iran. This is also a concern as U.S. troops remain in Iraq. U.S. forces in Iraq may be exposed to a terrorist attack fueled by Iranian leaders. To learn more, read the work of Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the FDD.
An Attack on the U.S. Homeland
An Iranian-supported attack on U.S. soil is not a great possibility, but it’s not without merit.
Despite its propaganda, Iran views attacking U.S. properties abroad as a less risky tactic. Regardless, Hezbollah has still raised capital on the United States.
Iran prefers to expand its options.
The Iranian economy does not flourish and the nation’s military is weaker than it has been.
That said, Iranian-sponsored terrorism pushes Israel into conflict, helps them gain access to Iraq for the long term, and causes hostility between themselves and the United States. Iran may put Hezbollah on the chopping block. The issue of Iraq could be ironed out for the positive for Iran.