If you placed your hopes that a President Donald Trump would bring some sanity back to U.S. foreign policy, especially with respect to U.S./Iran relations, you made a mistake. Trump’s Administration, using the voice of his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, is beating the drum denouncing Iran as the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the World.
The chutzpah award on this point goes to Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, who declared in October 2015:
. . .that Iran “is the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world, and it is working on destabilizing the region. If it wants to build good relations with its neighbors, it ought to deal with them based on the good neighborliness principle and not to interfere in their affairs. We [would] welcome such a step.”
The Saudi Foreign Minister conveniently ignored the fact that 15 of the 19 terrorists who hijacked planes and attacked America on 11 September 2001 were Saudis not Iranians.
Iran is no innocent on the issue of terrorism. The Revolutionary Guard and their agents, following the ordres of the Mullahs, were responsbile for the deaths of thousands from hundreds of terrorist attacks since the early 1980s.
When Iran fell under the rule of the Ayatollah, it routinely relied on terrorism—bombings, hijackings and kidnapping—to pursue its goals. They were directly involved in the taking of U.S. hostages in Lebanon and the bombings of the US Embassy in Beirut and the Marine barracks. But Iran’s actions were not just blind hatred. There was a strategic context to Tehran’s use of terrorism. Iran was at war with Iraq, which had the full support of the United States and other western countries. For Iran terrorism was a way to punch back against a more powerful military foe. The pragmatism on the part of Iran was further evidenced by the fact that it had a secret arrangement with Israel in acquiring weapons to use against Iraq.