Iran: A Global Threat

 

Washington, April 11 - Iran’s push to obtain nuclear weapons has endangered not only Israel through its repeated vows to “wipe Israel off the map” and its support for the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah - who have each fired thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians - but global security as well.

Exporting Terror

Iran is widely recognized as the world's leading state sponsor of international terrorism. The State Department notes that “The Quds Force, a branch of the IRGC, is the regime’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad. The Qods Force provides aid in the form of weapons, training, and funding to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups, Lebanese Hezbollah, Iraq-based militants, and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.”

  • In February 2012, bombers targeted Israel embassy workers in the capitals of India and Georgia, acts which Israel blamed on Hezbollah and Iranian elements
  • In late January 2012, National Intelligence James Clapper told a Congressional hearing in Washington that Iran may launch terrorist attacks on U.S. soil if it feels threatened; a week later, the Iranian ambassador to Moscow, Seyed Mahmoud-Reza Sajjadi, said that Iran has the capabilities to carry out military strikes on U.S. interests around the globe.
  • On Oct. 13, 2011, an uncovered Iranian plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States and blow up the Saudi Arabia and Israel embassies in Washington was unsealed by U.S. authorities. “This really, in the minds of many diplomats and government officials, crosses a line that Iran needs to be held to account for," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says at the time.
  • Iran has moved into America’s backyard, with thousands of Hezbollah operatives based in Latin America directing the group’s heavy involvement with the continent’s drug trade.
  • According to the U.S. State Department annual report on Terrorism in Iraq during 2010, “Iran continued to fund, train, and provide weapons and ammunition to Shia extremist groups that carried out attacks against Iraqi and U.S. forces,” in Iraq.

Missile Capability

Two major IAEA reports in the past four months have confirmed the progress of Iran’s nuclear program, which coupled with its missile technologies, could allow the delivery of nuclear payloads to targets far beyond Israel. A third new report by a research organization with close ties to the Pentagon says that Iran may terrorizePersian Gulf cities with ballistic missiles in an effort to dissuade an American attack on its nuclear facilities.Top Western officials and analysts have confirmed the threat from its missiles:

  • Tehran has a missile arsenal capable of reaching "targets throughout the region and into Eastern Europe," Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess, Defense Intelligence Agency director, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in February 2012.
  • "Iran does have missiles capable of hitting U.S. facilities in the Persian Gulf, and notably, in Afghanistan," Rand Corp. expert Alireza Nader said. "And it is known to be in development of long-range missiles that could reach Eastern Europe. It has a pretty robust missile program."


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