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Policy Analysis

Congressional Testimony

Iran’s Support for Terrorism in the Middle East

Matthew Levitt

Also available in العربية

U.S. Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on Near Eastern and Central Asian Affairs

July 25, 2012


As Iran continues its efforts to become a nuclear power, it has employed an aggressive foreign policy that relies heavily on clandestine assets abroad to collect intelligence and support foreign operations. The world's most active state sponsor of terrorism, Tehran relies on such activity to further its perceived interests. At the same time, the regime faces increasing international pressure in the form of diplomatic isolation, economic sanctions, and outright sabotage. From the Stuxnet virus to the assassination of Iranian scientists, Tehran feels targeted by Israeli and U.S. intelligence services in particular. This convergence of interests and threats has strengthened the regime's longstanding and intimate relationship with the terrorist organization Hizballah, making their combined operational capabilities and willingness to act abroad that much more dangerous. Download Dr. Levitt's remarks to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee regarding the past scope and near-term outlook of Iran's terrorism sponsorship, including its willingness to take direct terrorist action of its own using intelligence personnel and elite military units.