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Tuesday, August 23, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Iran still tops U.S. annual list of terror sponsors

WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department, in its annual assessment, said Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism in 2010.


"Iran's financial, material, and logistic support for terrorist and militant groups throughout the Middle East and Central Asia had a direct impact on international efforts to promote peace, threatened economic stability in the Gulf, and undermined the growth of democracy," the department, in its annual report on Aug. 18, said.

The State Department also kept Cuba, Sudan and Syria as terrorist sponsors, Middle East Newsline reported. Officials said Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has been supporting a range of proxies, including Hamas, Hizbullah and Taliban.

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"Iran's Quds Force provided training to Taliban in Afghanistan on small unit tactics, small arms, explosives, and indirect fire weapons, such as mortars, artillery, and rockets," the report said.

"Since at least 2006, Iran has arranged arms shipments to select Taliban members, including small arms and associated ammunition, rocket propelled grenades, mortar rounds, 107mm rockets, and plastic explosives. Iran has shipped a large number of weapons to Kandahar, aiming to increase its influence in the country."

IRGC was also said to have played the leading role in training and financing Iran's proxies. The report cited Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.

"In 2010, Iran remained the principal supporter of groups implacably opposed to the Middle East peace process," the report said.

"The Quds Force, the external operations branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, is the regime's primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad. Iran provided weapons, training, and funding to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups, including the Palestine Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command. Iran has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in support of Hizbullah in Lebanon and has trained thousands of Hizbullah fighters at camps in Iran."

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