Iran's forces on the march. (AP/Ebrahim Noroozi) (AP/Ebrahim Noroozi)
Iran army

The State Department’s annual report on global terrorist activity, which was released on Thursday, confirmed that Iran “remains the foremost state sponsor of terrorism in 2015.”

The Islamic Republic of Iran has again been listed as the main state sponsor of terror by the US State Department’s annual survey of world-wide terrorism for 2015.

Iran had provided “a range of support, including financial, training, and equipment, to groups around the world,” the report said. It went on to highlight the Iranian regime’s support for Hezbollah, Palestinian groups such as Hamas, and the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Despite reaching an agreement on its nuclear program and the partial end of sanctions in 2015, the report says Iran continued to use the Al-Quds unit of its Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) to implement its foreign policy goals through the development of its terrorism network, which spans through the Middle East, Africa, and several other countries.

The terror report also included Syria and Sudan as state sponsors of terrorism. Cuba was removed from the list last year after diplomatic ties between the two countries were restored.

Justin Siberell, the State Department’s acting coordinator for counter-terrorism, said at a press briefing that the international community “made important progress in degrading terrorist safe havens – in particular, a sizeable reduction in the amount of territory held by the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria, as well as the finances and foreign terrorist fighters available to it. At the same time, however, instability in key regions of the world, along with weak or nonexistent governance, sectarian conflict, and porous borders continue to provide terrorist groups like ISIS the opportunity to extend their reach, terrorize civilians, and attract and mobilize new recruits.”

The report said the number of global terrorist attacks declined slightly by 13 percent between 2014 and 2015.

“The global terrorist threat continued to evolve rapidly in 2015, becoming increasingly decentralized and diffuse,” the report said. “Terrorist groups continued to exploit an absence of credible and effective state institutions, where avenues for free and peaceful expression of opinion were blocked, justice systems lacked credibility, and where security force abuses and government corruption went unchecked.”

Statistics compiled for the report by researchers from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism showed that there were 11,774 attacks that resulted in 28,328 deaths in 2015, compared with 13,463 attacks in 2014 that killed 32,727 people.

Along with Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, the Sinai, Somalia and Syria, the report designated Libya, the southern Philippines, the Sahara, Yemen and portions of Colombia and Venezuela as “terrorist safe havens” where groups are able to operate with relative ease due to poor or inadequate governance.

By: United with Israel Staff