Argentina bombing of Israeli embassy 311 (R).
(photo credit: Reuters)
Terrorists haven't been one-trick ponies in their methods over the last few decades. Plane hijackings morphed into car bombings. Then came suicide bombs and rocket attacks as primary mediums for Jihad.
The terrorists' weapons change but Iran's complicity in attacks across the globe remains.
Tehran’s leadership is responsible for numerous terrorist attacks, from the hundreds of rockets which pounded southern Israel from Gaza over the past few days to a deadly bombing which killed 29 people in Buenos Aires 20 years ago this week. Remarkably, this same regime stands on the precipice of acquiring nuclear weapons.
The past few days have been a stark reminder of Iran’s backing for terror. The South has been rocked by over 200 rockets, which have driven almost one million men, women and children into bomb shelters.
While it appears that Hamas, the terror group which receives weapons, rocket instruction and hundreds of millions of dollars from Iran each year, did not launch the attacks, there are Iranian fingerprints all over the attacks. This time, with a nod from Tehran, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) took the initiative and fired the rockets. PIJ is an organization funded and trained almost exclusively by Iran. Indeed, the Fajar rocket, which is firmly in its arsenal, is an Iranian model which threatens to reach as far as Tel Aviv.
According to press reports, an investigation in India determined that Iran was responsible for the recent terrorist attack against Israeli diplomats in New Delhi.
Iran’s investment in terrorizing civilians goes beyond support of Islamist groups that share its ideological agenda. The bloodletting in Syria continues to be possible thanks in part to the endorsement of Tehran. Just last week, US intelligence officials revealed that Iran dispatched weapons, money, surveillance equipment and military manpower to assist Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s campaign against his own people.
Although Iranian dignitaries have denied supplying weapons, they proudly boast of a “strategic relationship” with Syria as part of “the resistance axis." Of course, Iran uses Syria as a willing conduit to its Lebanese representative, the terrorist group Hezbollah. Hezbollah aims to create an Islamic republic in Lebanon and has assumed dominance over much of the south of the country. It is Iran which essentially founded Hezbollah in 1982 and now organizes, funds and supplies them to the tune of hundreds of million dollars annually.
All of this should come as no surprise. In 1992 a suicide bomber rammed a truck packed with explosives into the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires. Twenty-nine people died, including 25 Argentineans, injuring 242. Among the dead was Israeli diplomat David Ben-Raphel. David was the best man at my wedding. His murder left behind a young wife and two babies who grew up without a father.
At the time the only group that claimed responsibility was the Islamic Jihad Organization, but in time it became increasingly clear that Iran was behind the bombings. Two years later, the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires was destroyed in a similar outrage, killing 85 innocent civilians. Argentinean investigators determined that the Iranian regime directed Hezbollah to carry out that callous attack and was involved in the earlier action. In 2007 Interpol published the names of five individuals, wanted in connection with the community center bombing. All are Iranians, some sit at the very heart of the Tehran regime. One of the masterminds listed is Ahmad Vahidi, the current Iranian Minister of Defense.
For the Iranian leadership, terrorism is not a moral abhorrence but rather a useful tool with which to achieve foreign policy goals. As such, the threat is global. In 2008, there were warnings of Hezbollah ‘sleeper cells’ laying the groundwork for an attack in Canada, subject to approval from Iran. Meanwhile, intelligence chiefs have identified as many as 900 Hezbollah activists residing in Germany. Last year, Tehran’s attempt to mask its support of terror was exposed when US intelligence uncovered an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador in a Washington DC restaurant.
The theological nature of the Iranian state, its wholesale abuse of human rights, and its unwillingness to negotiate a solution to the nuclear issue all demonstrate why Iran must not be trusted with nuclear weapons. However, it is Iran’s role as the undoubted godfather of global terror, including a chilling track record of brutally killing its enemies, which makes Iranian nuclear armament a truly frightening prospect. Laura Kam is the executive director for Global Affairs of The Israel Project, an international organization that gets facts to the press, public and policymakers.