The Veterans Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), a group
of former high-level American intelligence veterans, addressed
an open letter to President Donald Trump on Dec. 21 countering
the claim of key members of the Trump Administration
and others, that Iran is a leading state sponsor of international
terrorism (see

That “dubious distinction”, according to the letter signed by the
entire VIPS board and published in Consortium News, goes to
“Iran’s accusers – first and foremost Saudi Arabia”.
However, that charge of terrorism surfaced “to justify war
with Iran”, after the argument on its purported nuclear weapons
was debunked.

“The depiction of Iran as the world’s leading state sponsor of
terrorism is not supported by the facts,” the VIPS state. “While
Iran is guilty of having used terrorism as a national policy tool,
the Iran of 2017 is not the Iran of 1981. In the early days of
the Islamic Republic, Iranian operatives routinely carried out car
bombings, kidnappings and assassinations of dissidents and of
American citizens. That has not been the case for many years.
Despite frequent claims by U.S. officials that Iran is engaged in
terrorism, we simply note that the incidents recorded annually
in the U.S. Department of State’s Patterns of Global Terrorism
rarely identifies a terrorist incident as an act by, or on behalf
of, Iran….”

As for the relations between Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon,
the VIPS note that it may have been a sub-contractor for Iran
in the past, but has become over the past 20 years “an entity
and political force in its own right…. Hezbollah, which is now
part of the Lebanese government, also has turned away from
the radical, religious driven violence that is the hallmark of the
Sunni extremists, like ISIS.”

VIPS further specifies that the list of terrorist attacks drawn
up by the U.S. government on attacks carried out since 2001
“shows a dramatic drop in the violence carried out by Iran and
an accompanying surge in horrific acts by radical Sunni Muslims
who are not aligned with Iran. The latest edition of the Global
Terrorism Index, a project of the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security, shows that four groups accounted for 74% of all fatalities
from terrorism in 2015 — Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, the
Taliban and ISIS. Thirteen of the 14 Muslim groups identified
by the U.S. intelligence community as actively hostile to the U.S.
are Sunni, not Shi’a, and are not supported by Iran.” The 14th
is “the Houthis” in Yemen.


E.I.R.,Strategic Alert, 

The Schiller Institute


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