Following the latest release of the United States report on national sponsors of terrorism, which noted Iran’s interest in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu underscored Iran’s very broad terrorist reach—which includes Cyprus in the European Union. “The Iranian network now embraces over 30 countries and a new terrorist cell is added every few weeks, whether directly or via its proxy Hezbollah,” Netanyahu’s office quoted him as saying on Sunday.
“For example, we recently saw in Cyprus a terrorist apartment in which a great quantity of explosives was discovered, and this is only one example out of dozens.” Netanyahu did not clarify if his insights came from US or Israeli intel. By contrast, the US report focused on Iran’s Middle East terrorism activities, noting Iran’s involvement with Iraqi terrorists battling ISIS (ISIL) in Iraq and helping the Syrian regime in that nation’s civil war. Despite the fight with ISIS, Iran’s Iraqi associates are themselves dangerous troublemakers and one group is officially designated by the US as terrorists.
“Despite its pledge to support Iraq’s stabilization, Iran increased training and funding to Iraqi Shia militia groups in response to ISIL’s advance into Iraq. Many of these groups, such as Kata’ib Hizballah (KH), have exacerbated sectarian tensions in Iraq and have committed serious human rights abuses against primarily Sunni civilians,” said the Americans’ Country Reports on Terrorism 2014, which was released last Friday.
The report noted Iran’s apparent reconciliation with Palestinian terrorists after disagreement over the Syrian conflict, as well as their close ties to Lebanon’s Hezbollah group. The report highlighted a shipment of rockets, mortars and ammo intercepted by Israel in March, which were “hidden within crates of cement labeled ‘Made in Iran’ and believed to be destined to militants in the region.”
Netanyahu on Sunday warned that the current nuclear agreement being discussed between Iran and the major world powers would not only give Iran opportunities to cheat their way to nuclear weapons, but would also provide them “billions of dollars,” through sanctions relief and economic growth.
Netanyahu said this “will enable them to increase both the terrorist efforts I have described, their regional aggression and the accelerated arming of their proxies… Therefore, this is not a good agreement. This agreement endangers the State of Israel, the Middle East and—in my opinion—the peace of the entire world.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, June 21, 2015)