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Author Topic:   Iran is No. 1 terrorist backer -- US State Department
posted May 01, 2001 09:56     Click Here to See the Profile for Ardalan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

The USA Today
April 30, 2001

WASHINGTON - Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism in 2000, increasing its support to groups targeting the Middle East peace process, according to the latest State Department terrorism report.

The Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security "continued to be involved in the planing and execution of terrorist acts and continued to support a variety of groups that use terrorism to pursue their goals," said the report, released Monday.

Iran continued to be particularly active in support of Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon and Palestinian groups opposed to the peace process, it said. Those groups claimed responsibility for many of the attacks during the recent Palestinian-Israeli clashes.

The attacks ended a period of more than two years without a large scale terrorist operation in the region.

Iran has been viewed by the State Department as the most active terrorist nation for about 10 years, said a department official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The report said "aggressive countermeasures by hardline conservatives" in Iran thwarted the moderate forces that triumphed in parliamentary elections in February 2000.

"Statements by Iran's leaders demonstrated Iran's unrelenting hostility to Israel," the report said. "Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei continued to refer to Israel as a 'cancerous tumor' that must be removed."

The 91-page report covers terrorism trends worldwide in the year 2000.

The report said 19 Americans were killed in terrorist attacks, including 17 sailors who died in the October 12 attack on the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden.

There were 423 international terrorist attacks in 2000, an increase of 8% from 1999.

The largest geographical decrease in terrorist attacks occurred in Western Europe, where the total declined from 85 to 30, owing to fewer attacks in Germany, Greece and Italy as well as to the absence of any attacks in Turkey, the report said.

On Afghanistan, the study said Islamic extremists from around the world including North America, Europe Africa, the Middle East and Central, South and Southeast Asia continued to use that country "as a training ground and base of operations for their worldwide terrorist activities in 2000."

The Taliban rulers "permitted the operation of training and indoctrination facilities for non-Afghans and provided logistics support to members of various terrorist organizations and mujahedeen, including those waging holy wars in Central Asia, Chechnya and Kashmir," it said.

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posted May 02, 2001 11:49     Click Here to See the Profile for Ardalan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Iran condemns U.S. terrorism report

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) May 1 - Iran on Tuesday condemned a State Department report describing it as the most active sponsor of terrorism worldwide and accused the United States of supporting "Israeli state terrorism." "The report lacks credibility" and is not accepted by Iran, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi in comments carried by the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

"The U.S. government, which itself is one of the supporters of Israeli state terrorism, is not in any position to judge others and should abandon its unconditional support for the Zionist regime," Asefi added, according to IRNA.

In its annual report released Monday, the State Department ranked Iran as the No. 1 terrorist country in the world, offering assistance to groups opposed to Israel and to peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

Iran last week hosted a conference in support of the Palestinian intefadeh, or uprising, attended by representatives of more than 30 Muslim nations and anti-Israeli movements including Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrilla group and the Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

In its report, the State Department referred to Hezbollah, the pro-Iranian group that led the guerrilla war against Israel's occupation of south Lebanon, as a radical Shiite Muslim group that is "strongly anti-West and anti-Israel."

A Hezbollah statement faxed to The Associated Press in Beirut, Lebanon, dismissed the U.S. report as "worthless and lacking credibility."

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posted May 02, 2001 11:51     Click Here to See the Profile for Ardalan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hizbollah says honoured by US 'terrorism' report

BEIRUT, May 1 (Reuters) - Lebanon's Shi'ite Muslim Hizbollah guerrilla group said on Tuesday a U.S. blacklist that linked its activities to terrorism was "a badge of honour". "The U.S. administration considers anyone who seeks dignity and the regaining of rights as an enemy," said a statement by Hizbollah, which is backed by Iran and Syria.

"This extreme hostility and attempt to smear us is a badge of honour, which shows that we are following the right path and serving our nation," the statement added.

The United States on Monday published an annual list of "state sponsors of terrorism" that included Syria and Iran, the main backers of Hizbollah. The report said Iran gives funding, training and weapons to Hizbollah and other Palestinian groups, such as the Islamist Hamas movement.

Hizbollah was behind the abduction of American hostages and carried out bomb attacks against Western targets during the 1975-90 Lebanese civil war. After the war it concentrated on fighting the Israeli occupation of south Lebanon.

Its guerrilla warfare forced Israel to pull out last year after a 22-year occupation. Hizbollah continues to wage a low intensity war against Israeli troops occupying Shebaa Farms, a disputed strip of land claimed by Lebanon.

The United States and its Western allies have condemned the Hizbollah attacks, saying Shebaa Farms is Syrian land that was occupied by Israel in the 1967 war and that its future should be solved through negotiations. "Trying to describe Hizbollah as a terrorist group reveals how annoyed and terrified the Americans and Zionists regarding the unique phenomenon provided by the resistance, which disclosed the futility of negotiations and submission to pressures to abandon the land...)," the statement added.

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posted May 02, 2001 11:53     Click Here to See the Profile for Ardalan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Separating truth from fiction

The Jerusalem Post
By Arnold Blumberg

May 1, 2001

The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, supreme religious leader of Iran, has thrown an intellectual stink bomb at Israel. Presiding over a two-day Islamic Conference in Teheran, Khamenei has attempted to vilify Israel by accusing the Zionist leadership in the Hitlerite era of actively collaborating with the Nazis. It is important that Jews generally, and Israelis in particular, be aware of the thin veil of truth with which the ayatollah has covered a vicious lie.

Hitler, early in his career as German chancellor, played the cruelest kind of game with Jews trapped in Germany. On the one hand he made it plain that he wanted Jews to leave. On the other hand he forbade them to take more than 10 German marks out of the country. The only way in which Jews could reach a foreign refuge was if someone abroad was willing to support them, or if they shipped goods abroad which could be sold to support their expenses.

As early as 1933, the Jewish Agency Executive, governing the Palestinian Zionist community, signed an agreement with the German Ministry of Industry under which a German-Jewish organization, the Pal stine Treuhand-Stelle der Juden in Deutschland named the Anglo-Palestine Bank, today Bank Leumi, as its agent to sell goods sent by German Jews to raise money for those leaving Germany with a paltry 10 marks. This complicated process came to be called the Ha'avara or transfer system.

In 1936, desperate to rescue Jews trapped in Germany, the Jewish Agency simplified the process and rendered it more efficient by entering an agreement with the Germans which might look today as though they had sold their souls to the devil. (The Iranians would certainly like to make it appear that way.) Walter Doehle, the German consul in Jerusalem, agreed to speak to the Gestapo, on behalf of the Jewish Agency, to make the Ha'avara system easier for Jews fleeing Germany and, it must be said, profitable for the German government.

Control of Ha'avara was taken from the Anglo-Palestine Bank and transferred to a German bank operating in Palestine, the Bank der Tempelgesellschaft. Doehle managed to persuade the Gestapo to allow members of the Jewish Agency Executive to enter and leave Germany in order to render the purchase and sale of German goods in Palestine easier for all parties. Indeed, this whole procedure was deeply troubling to the Jewish Agency.

At that moment when the Jewish Agency became an agent for the sale of German goods, Jews throughout the rest of the world were boycotting such products. Indeed, Ze'ev Jabotinsky, the head of the Zionist Revisionists, condemned the entire Ha'avara system as he was opposed to anything which was profitable to the Nazis.

Nevertheless, it must be said that, thanks to Ha'avara, 43,000 German Jews escaped the Nazis and probably owed their lives to that process. In addition, through Doehle and the Jewish Agency representatives in Germany, Hebrew-speaking teachers were allowed to enter Germany to train young Jews for life in free Palestine.

It is hoped that none of us will fall into the trap set by Khameini and accept his brazen lie that the fathers of modern Israel sold their souls to advance the goals of Nazi Germany.

(The writer is professor emeritus of history at Towson University, Maryland.)

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