The top Democrat and the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee both agreed that Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism around the globe.
Ranking member Eliot Engel (D-NY) pointed out during a committee hearing last week that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has been fueling turmoil throughout the Middle East even with strict economic sanctions in place.
“Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism, and in the past several years when Iran had no money, it still found money to be the leading state sponsor of terrorism,” Engel said.
“Under the [nuclear] deal negotiated with Iran, they will be awash in cash, they will have lots of money, and imagine how much destruction they can do in support of terrorist activities and terrorism. That is very deeply troubling for me.”
The congressman went on to list a number of terrorist attacks since the 1970’s in which Iran was involved.
“Since seizing power in 1979, the Iranian regime has built an ugly record supporting terrorist proxies,” Engel continued.
“Let’s remember this: the seizure of our embassy in Tehran, 1979; the bombings of our embassy and a Marine barracks in Beirut in the early 80s, killing nearly 300 Americans; the attacks in Buenos Aires that targeted Israel’s embassy and a Jewish community center; the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, which also cost American lives; and just a few years ago, a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador, right here in Washington.
“And every one of these horrible events is covered in Iran’s fingerprints,” Engel noted.
Committee chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) was also highly critical of Iran’s “support of international terrorism” and the actions of the IRGC, which he said has turned Iran into a “global menace.”
“Over the last few weeks, the IRGC has tested a new long-range ballistic missile, and that test is in violation of the U.N. sanctions. They also released a video of dozens more of these ICBMs staged in an underground bunker,” Royce said in his opening statement.
“The IRGC’s Quds force has stepped up efforts in support of the murderous Assad regime in Syria, and we’ve seen those attacks on the ground. And by all accounts it appears that the IRGC has prevented international investigators from accessing the information needed to conclusively finish a report on the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program.
“From nuclear proliferation to support of international terrorism to human rights abuses, the IRGC has made Iran the global menace that Iran is today,” Royce said.
“The IRGC is responsible for squashing democracy movements at home, for spreading the Iranian regime’s revolutionary ideology abroad, and for sparking turmoil throughout the Middle East.
“Its forces operate, again, independent of Iran’s regular army. It answers directly only to one man: Iran’s Supreme Leader.”