In its latest annual report the US State Department has named the Islamic Republic regime as “the biggest and most active supporter of terrorism in the world”. Dr Behrooz Behbudi, founder of the Centre for a Democratic Iran chronicles the history of the regime’s involvement in international terrorism as the main pillar of its foreign policy and how it plays out in the hands of Moscow as Russia jockeys for influence in the Middle East.

The Islamic Republic has once again managed to elevate itself to achieve the highest position on an international list, an unenviable situation that should make every Iranian ashamed of being ruled by such a contemptible regime.

In its latest annual report the US State Department named the Iranian government as “the biggest and most active supporter of terrorism in the world”. The report is mainly based on the terrorist threats the US and its allies face and, although it fails to mention the state-sponsored terrorism of the Israelis, one could not realistically have expected a different judgment on the Islamic Republic’s role in international terrorism, given the nature of a regime whose foundations are based on terrorist activities and whose leaders’ “credentials” include countless terrorist activities where they colluded to murder innocent people who opposed their twisted ideology.

Only a few days earlier, before the publication of the US report, the Islamic Republic’s ruling regime had been named, along with Turkey and China, as being among the top three jailers of journalists across the world, together these three states hold more than half of all imprisoned journalists.

In summary, the Islamic Republic’s very existence depends on the violation of human rights of the Iranian people at home and spreading fear and terror among its opponents abroad.

Terror as a policy

Since its inception in 1979, the Islamic Republic has been accused by members of the international community of funding, training, providing weapons and generally giving sanctuary to terrorists.

Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice once said: “Iran has been the country that has been in many ways a central banker for terrorism throughout the Middle East.”

In 1995 Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps held an international conference with organisations from around the world accused of engaging in terrorism.

These included the Japanese Red Army, the Armenian Secret Army, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, The Iraqi Da’wah Party, the Islamic Front for the Liberation of Bahrain, and the Hizbullah of Lebanon among others, for the sole purpose of providing training to these organisations – supposedly to help in the destabilisation of the Gulf states. By providing aid to militants in those countries Tehran hoped to achieve its ultimate aim of replacing the existing Gulf governments with Iran-like “Islamic regimes”.

According to western intelligence agencies, the Office of International Liberation Movements within Iran’s Ministry Intelligence remains directly involved in liaison activities with many international terrorist groups, and members of the ministry have been involved in the assassination of Iranian political dissidents in exile.

In the case of the terrorist murder of the last Prime Minister of the Shah, Dr Shahpoor Bakahtiar, in Paris in 1988, one of the perpetrators who had been captured and jailed for 20 years was welcomed back as a “national hero” by the regime’s foreign minister on his release and deportation home to Iran.

After several years of investigation into the internationally exposed terrorist murder of Iran’s Kurdish leaders in Berlin on 17 September 1992 – known as the Mykonos case – the German Justice Department finally named and implicated the Islamic regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, the then-president Hashemi Rafsanjani, his Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati and Intelligence Minister Ali Falahian as the main organisers of the atrocity.

Temporary lull

Despite a temporary reduction in the terrorist activities of the regime during the rule of the so-called reformists led by Mohammad Khatami, with the rise of Ahmadinejad as Ali Khamenei’s lackey the extremist factions of the regime found a new opportunity to rally around the supreme leader and his chosen subordinate and once again use terrorism as the main tool of the regime’s foreign policy.

This new emergence led the US government to warn, in a report in 2005, that Tehran had now extended its terrorist activities to Latin American countries, seeding sleeper cells there to orchestrate attacks on American and western targets and their interests in the region.

A recent report by the US State Department detailed the Islamic Republic’s military and financial support for terrorist groups in African countries including Nigeria and Mali. When these new areas of the regime’s terrorist activities are seen alongside its decade long involvement in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Bahrain and Yemen, the international scope of its destructive and malicious deeds is exposed, in addition to the murderous crimes it has committed against the lives of hundreds of Iranian exiles. The tragedy of the death of so many innocents at the hands of the Islamic Republic and its international puppet terrorist groups becomes even greater when one takes into account that their murderous activities are financially sustained by wealth stolen from the pockets of the Iranian people. Ordinary Iranians have nothing to do with these crimes but must bear the burden of their historically peaceful and justice-loving nation becoming equated with international terrorism.

The Russian connection

However, it would be naïve to think of the Islamic Republic’s destructive and adventurist activities merely as an extension of its own repressive domestic policy or serving simply to maintain its twisted ideological links with other terrorist groups.

A closer look at who finally benefits from this global terror network reveals the hands of a former empire that, having collapsed more than two decades ago, persists in using the Iranian regime’s links with terrorism and destabilisation of the most strategic region of the world to reinstate its lost imperialistic power and influence.

It is an open secret that Russia’s closest allies in the Islamic World, where most of the terrorist atrocities occur, are Iran and Syria, ruled by two of the world’s most brutal and tyrannical regimes.

Moscow’s direct support for the Islamic Republic’s atomic and military projects over the last two decades has inflicted untold financial damage on Iran’s economic development. meanwhile, Iran has been Russia’s pawn in all it’s diplomatic gambles with Western powers.

Nevertheless, the anti-American element of the Islamic revolution that toppled the pro western regime of the Shah, and the subsequent excavation of tensions between Tehran and washington over the Us embassy.

hostage crisis, both pushed Iran towards seeking an alliance with Russia. Pro-Moscow Tudeh Party activists among Ayatollah Khomeini’s inner circle played a major role in creating this alliance, which has survived to date with Khomeini’s successor Ali Khamenei and Iran’s new Russian-trained and-equipped military elite in the Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Yet the military and economic benefits Russia has derived from Iran under the ayatollahs is part of a wider and more complex consideration than a simple strategy of fanning animosities between Tehran and the western powers.

The Middle East is currently undergoing profound and historic changes towards achieving democracy. At the very heart of this movement are the Iranian people, who have shown repeatedly and in unambiguous terms, that the Islamic republic regime is unworthy of ruling over them, and that a dark revolution that has attempted to tarnish the name of Iran from being an ancient and civilised country to becoming “the most active sponsor of international terrorism” is ultimately doomed.

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