Post the 1979 revolution in Iran, the country’s officials deployed assassins to eliminate dissidents there. This terrorism expanded outside Iran’s borders.
Funding Terrorist Organizations
In 1983, the Iranian government helped the Lebanese group Hezbollah bomb U.S. Marine and embassy sites. More than 300 people were killed. A greater number of Americans were killed by Hezbollah than that of any other global terrorist group, that is, prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Americans weren’t the only group to be attacked by an organization supported by Iran. 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. The U.S. State Department still says Iran is active in its support of terrorism and still fuels organizations 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. Iran is less detached from the region when it fosters anti-Israel violence that terminates the peace process.
As a direct consequence of its assistance to Hezbollah, Iran has aided the organization and the popularity of its leaders, which have more loyalty among Middle Easterners than do elected officials.
U.S. officials are unclear as to the extent of which Iran has affiliations with Sunni jihadist networks associated with al-Qaida.
U.S.-Iranian Policy Toward Jihadists
Iran cooperated after September 11 with United States to transfer jihadists to their place of origin to face trials. Iran is not consistent on this topic.Iranian officials have said they are watching and can identify Sunni extremists, but they have not sent these individuals to face prosecution for their crimes. This issue has caused turmoil 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. View here for more.
An Attack on the U.S. Homeland
It’s not impossible that Iran would sponsor an attack on the U.S. homeland.
A strike on U.S. soil is acknowledged by Iran as a not-so-intelligent move. Regardless, Hezbollah has still raised capital on the United States.
Iran lust after advantages.
The country is a marginal economic leader and its military is in duress.
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. It’s a possibility that Iran will relinquish its role as a funder of Hezbollah. It may also become a cooperative player in Iraq.