Iran was the “foremost state sponsor of terrorism in 2016”, the US state department said on Wednesday in its annual report on terrorism worldwide.
“Iran remained the foremost state sponsor of terrorism globally,” said Justin Siberell, the US State Department’s acting coordinator for counterterrorism.
According to the report, Iran continues to provide support to the Hezbollah militias and various groups in Syria, Iraq, and throughout the Middle East. The report indicated that Iran employed the Quds Force of its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to implement foreign policy goals, provide cover for intelligence operations, and create instability in the Middle East. The Quds Force is Iran’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists outside of Iran.
“In 2016, Iran remained the primary source of funding for Hizballah and coordinated closely with Hizballah in its efforts to create instability in the Middle East,” Siberell added.
Siberell went on to say that the ISIS extremist group “remained the most capable terrorist organization globally in 2016, directing and inspiring terror cells, networks, and individuals around the world, even as it faced increased military pressure in Iraq and Syria and suffered considerable territorial losses through the year.”
The State Department’s report noted that the Hezbollah militias “have gone full-in on supporting the Assad regime and its war against the Syrian people, and at the same time has continued to strengthen its capabilities in southern Lebanon.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)