VIPS to Trump: Iran Is Not the Leading Sponsor of International Terrorism

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. 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 “inaccurate claim that Iran has 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 Hezbollah 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.

Further reading: EIR Hosts Conference with VIPS on Russian Hack Fraud

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