State Dept: Iran remains top state sponsor of terrorism
The Trump administration announced on Wednesday that Iran will remain atop the list of state sponsors of terrorism, maintaining a position it has held for years.
The State Department made the designation in its annual Country Reports on Terrorism. The assessment, the agency said, was based on Tehran’s continued support for anti-Israel militant groups, like Hezbollah in Lebanon, and efforts to destabilize the Middle East.
Iran has been designated as a state sponsor of terrorism by the U.S. since 1984.
President Trump has vowed to take a harder line toward Iran. He promised on the campaign trail to dismantle the 2015 nuclear agreement with the Islamic republic, calling it “the worst deal ever.”
But Trump has now twice certified to Congress Iran’s compliance with the terms of the agreement, keeping it in place for the time being.
The State Department report also noted an overall decrease in terrorist attacks and terrorism-related deaths between 2015 and 2016. The number of attacks dropped 9 percent, while the number of deaths declined by 13 percent.
Once again absent from the list of state sponsors of terrorism was Cuba, which was initially removed from the list in 2015 as the Obama administration worked to restore diplomatic relations with the island nation.
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