Monday, February 28, 2005

t r u t h o u t - William O. Beeman | Iran's Support of Terrorism Is Less Than It Seems

t r u t h o u t - William O. Beeman | Iran's Support of Terrorism Is Less Than It Seems: " Iran's Support of Terrorism Is Less Than It Seems
By William O. Beeman
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Monday 28 February 2005
Of all the accusations leveled against Iran by the United States, the strongest, and least questioned is the charge that Iran ' is the [world's] most active state sponsor of terrorism,' to quote the U.S. State Department. This claim is both inaccurate and overblown. If the United States ever hopes to influence Iran in other ways, such as persuading Tehran to modify its plans for the development of nuclear power, it must re-examine this long-held article of faith.
The United States government first began to identify Iran as a supporter of terrorist activities in 1984 under the Reagan administration. The accusations have grown more strident from year to year. On an annual basis the State Department has repeated accusations that Iran has supported virtually every terrorist attack in the world.
This is an astonishing exaggeration. In fact, Iran cannot be linked to any direct attack on the United States since the 444 day hostage crisis, which ended in 1981. The assertions of Iran's continued support for terrorism are prime examples of truth by repetition, used commonly by many conservative commentators, and myriads of U.S. legislators and officials-including U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during her recent European tour.
Of all of these claims, one alone has some substance. Iranian support for the Lebanese Shi'ite organization Hezbollah is verifiable. However, the flat statement: 'Iran supports Hezbollah' is simplistic and misleading. It is important to understand the real nature of this support, and the extent to which Iran is actually able to influence the actions of this Shi'it"