It is Official – Iran Sponsors Terrorism

Sara J Dufort

Countries in the Middle East are constantly threatening each other, and Iran is no exception. Last week, the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, announced that Iran would sponsor anyone, anywhere that would work against Israel. In an address to worshippers in Tehran, Khamenei stated, “From now on, in any place, if any nation or any group confronts the Zionist regime, we will endorse and we will help. We have no fear expressing this.” Since this statement, people have gotten the impression that Iran is willing to sponsor terrorism. While there is an implication that this is what Khamenei meant, he did not say it in those words.

In the same speech, he also stated that Iran would continue their controversial nuclear program and that any military strike by the United States would only make Iran stronger. He believes that United States intervention in their program would lead to a defeat, and our country losing standing in the region.

Even with these threats, neither the United States nor Israel has ruled out using a military option against Iran’s nuclear program. The West believes that Iran is trying to develop weapon technology, but Iran states that it geared towards purposes like power generation and medical isotopes. Regardless of what Iran is saying, many heads of state do not believe them and take it as a threat.

Ali Khamenei also publically stated that they have already supported anti-Israel matters before, and that they will continue to do so. In his speech Khamenei stated, “We have intervened in anti-Israel matters, and it brought victory in the 33-day war by Hezbollah against Israel in 2006, and in the 22-day war between Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip.” This fact is a well-known Iranian policy, but not one that their leaders say explicitly.

Despite the fact that Khamenei’s words are a direct threat to the nation of Israel, an Israeli Foreign Minister spokesman said that he was not surprised. Yigal Palmor stated that, “it’s the same kind of hate speech that we’ve been seeing from Iran for many years now.”

It is clear that Iran has taken offensive steps in the past few weeks, and it is doubtful that they will back down until either the United States or Israel takes action. Since the Supreme Leader has final say on all matters of the state, it is likely that Israel is taking these threats seriously.

The U.S. Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta stated that Israel is making plans for such an attack and any accompanying retaliation. The actions of leaders involved will directly influence what happens in the Middle East in the next few months, or perhaps the next few years. Iran is determined to continue their nuclear program, and if they do so, other countries may have no other choice but to fight.