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Iran ‘most active’ – State Dept.

Iran is the “most active” state sponsor of terrorism and its proxy, Hezbollah, is the “most technically capable terrorist group,” a U.S. report says. Syria also was named as a state sponsor of terrorism in the U.S. State Department’s country reports on terrorism released Monday, although the report implied that Damascus was more responsive to pressure than Iran. “Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism,” the report said. “Its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) were directly involved in the planning and support of terrorist acts and continued to exhort a variety of groups, especially Palestinian groups with leadership cadres in Syria and Lebanese Hezbollah, to use terrorism in pursuit of their goals.” Syria, it said, had ties to the same groups, but added, “Syria’s public support for the Palestinian groups varied, depending on its national interests and international pressure.”

The report praised Sudan as “strong partner in the War on Terror” and said it “aggressively pursued terrorist operations directly involving threats to U.S. interests and personnel in Sudan.” It noted that the Sudanese government welcomed officials of Hamas, the terrorist group that heads the Palestinian Authority government, but added that it “limited their activities to fundraising.” Assessing terrorist groups, the report described Lebanon’s Hezbollah as “the most technically capable terrorist group in the world,” based in part on its performance against Israel in last summer’s war. It noted past Hezbollah attacks on Americans and compared that to Hamas, which “has not directly targeted U.S. interests, although the group makes little or no effort to avoid targets frequented by foreigners,” the report said. In its summary, the report said that “the Israeli/Palestinian conflict remains a source of terrorist motivation.”