Iran’s Terrorist Framework
The 1979 Islamic revolution brought new ideology and a new government to Iran that supported terrorism activities. These activities have forced the United States and Iran to have a tumultuous relationship.
Hizballah, a Lebanese outfit, is one organization that Iran has generously supported. Hizballah receives more than $100 million annually from Iran. Iran also assists Hizballah in their military efforts, giving the group arms, such anti-tank guided missiles, rockets, and artillery systems. Iran incorporates Hizballah into its external security network, exchanging intelligence and military personnel. Anti-Israeli action has increased as Hizballah has become more important for Iran and Arab countries. The Palestine Islamic Jihad and Hamas are two organizations that are connected to Hizballah and are vocal about their opposition to the existence of Israel. Israeli-Syrian and Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations have been disrupted by Iranian support for these groups. Iran benefits when these failed negotiations occur.
Modern Iranian History
The Islamic revolution of 1979 toppled the rule of Iran’s royal family and their supporters. The royal family was then replaced by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s new Supreme Leader, who dictated that Iran must spread the vision of the Islamic revolution throughout the world.
Iran’s constitution and the documents of the Islamic Revolutionary guard espouse the beliefs that originate with the Islamic revolution.
Fostering Terrorism Elsewhere
Iran isn’t only associated with Hizballah. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bahrain, and Iraq are a few Islamic countries in which Iran has supported terrorist organizations. These organizations want to topple their Muslim governments.
Iran is a Shi’a Muslim government, but is quick to back terrorism by other Muslim groups. As it has been decades since the Islamic Revolution, Tehran is more likely to seek partnerships from alternative organizations that don’t perfectly fit the message of the revolution. Iran has links to terrorist groups within Kurdistan and the Palestinian territory.
Weirdly, Iran has even created links with al-Qa’ida and the Taliban, groups that have a strong hatred of Shi’a Islam.
This is the goal of Iran–to disseminate the idea behind the Islamic revolution.
To learn more about Iran’s link to international terrorism, read more here and learn about Mark Dubowitz.
Turmoil in Syria
Yet, the recent problems in Syria–as its leader Bashar alAsad is facing opposition–poses difficulties for Iran. Iran has few friends in the Middle East, however, Syria is one of them.
If Iran were to lose its friendship to Syria–or the leadership of alAsad–that would mean fewer opportunities to manipulate the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians. The efforts to remove alAsad from power is a clear sign, according to Iran, of a larger international campaign to minimize Iran’s power.