Tuesday, June 23, 2015

REPORT: Iran’s Support of Terrorism ‘Undiminished’ as Nuclear Deal Deadline Nears

The State Department said Iran’s support for terrorism was “undiminished” in 2014, and the U.S. remains very concerned about the activities of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and its proxies in the Middle East.
The U.S. worries about Iran’s activities were included in an annual report of global terrorism between 2013 and 2014, released Friday.
Iraqis inspect the site of a car bomb attack in eastern 
Baghdad, earlier this month. Photo: Karim Kadim/AP
Of particular concern, the report said, was Iran’s continued support of the powerful Hezbollah militia and political party in Lebanon; and its assistance to fighters supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Iran also hasn’t identified or initiated judicial proceedings against senior al Qaeda leaders it has in custody.
The release comes less than two weeks before a June 30 deadline for a deal on limiting Iran’s nuclear program. U.S. officials say those talks are separate from any destabilizing activities in the region by Tehran.
“We think it’s essential that we pursue those negotiations,” said Tina Kaidanow, the State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism. “None of that implies that we would be, again, in any way taking our eye off the ball with respect to what Iran is doing as a supporter of terrorism.”
She said sanctions on Iran related to terrorism would remain in place even if a nuclear deal is reached.
The report said “Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism worldwide remained undiminished” in 2014 and Ms. Kaidanow said the U.S. continued to be “very, very concerned” about its activities, adding that Tehran hasn’t changed its behavior this year.
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