Iran's Support of Terrorism
and Extremism in Other States
There is no way to separate Iran's foreign policy and overt actions in dealing with other states from the issue of Iranian support of terrorism and extremism. Most of the recent charges against Iran affect its relations with states outside the Gulf, its northern border area, Afghanistan, and South Asia. They affect Iran's relations with Arab states in the Levant and North Africa, its relations with the Sudan and Iraq, its actions in Europe, and its actions in dealing with Israel.
The US considers Iran to be the main sponsor of international terrorism and opposition to the Arab-Israeli peace process. 252 Washington accuses Tehran of providing military training and moral and financial support to extreme Islamist movements throughout the width and breadth of the Middle East. According to the State Department, Iran was involved in 45 significant terrorist incidents in 1987, 24 incidents in 1989, 10 in 1990, five in 1991, 20 in 1992, six in 1993, six in 1994, and at least six in 1995. 253 Iran is estimated to provide over $50 million dollars worth of support to groups such as Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, which is waging a guerrilla war against Israel, and its puppet the South Lebanon Army and Hamas, the violent Palestinian Islamist group in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
These charges have been supported by other countries. Between late 1994 and mid-1995 a French court held a trial that sentenced Iranian nationals to jail terms for their role in the assassination of Shahpour Bakhtiar. French prosecutors concluded that the Iranian government was directly linked to the assassination; in fact they sentenced an Iranian civil servant, in absentia, to life in prison in June, 1995, for his alleged role in the assassination of Shahpur Bakhtiar. 254 France's Prime Minister Alain Juppe denounced Iran's terrorist activity in March, 1996. The German government has charged Ali Fallahiyan, the Iranian Minister of Information and Intelligence, with being responsible for the assassination of four Iranian Kurdish exiles at a bar in Berlin in 1992. The Swiss government