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State Department: Iran Sponsors Terrorists Who Kill Americans

The State Department’s latest terrorism report makes it clear that Tehran sponsors terrorists targeting U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

9:00 PM, Aug 5, 2010 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
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Notice that the State Department has avoided using the phrase “safe haven” in either analysis. But by refusing to identify, transfer, or “bring to justice” al Qaeda members, that is precisely what the Iranian regime is providing al Qaeda.

Finally, the State Department included a lengthy paragraph on Iran’s support for terrorists in Iraq. It is mostly unchanged from the year before (emphasis added):

Despite its pledge to support the stabilization of Iraq, Iranian authorities continued to provide lethal support, including weapons, training, funding, and guidance, to Iraqi Shia militant groups that targeted U.S. and Iraqi forces. The Qods Force continued to supply Iraqi militants with Iranian-produced advanced rockets, sniper rifles, automatic weapons, and mortars that have killed Iraqi and Coalition Forces, as well as civilians. Iran was responsible for the increased lethality of some attacks on U.S. forces by providing militants with the capability to assemble explosively formed penetrators that were designed to defeat armored vehicles. The Qods Force, in concert with Lebanese Hizballah, provided training outside of Iraq and advisors inside Iraq for Shia militants in the construction and use of sophisticated improvised explosive device technology and other advanced weaponry.

There is one noteworthy change in the paragraph above from the version that appeared in last year's analysis. Last year, the State Department said that Iran was responsible for "some of the lethality of anti-Coalition attacks." This year's report says that Iran is "responsible for the increased lethality of some attacks on U.S. forces." It is not clear what was driving the word change. It is possible that the State Department just wanted to make this year's report more precise. The bottom line is this: Iran continues to sponsor terrorists who kill Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. 

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