Iranian Terror, Espionage Highlighted in New DoD Report
by JOEL HIMELFARB
January 8, 2013
A new report by the Pentagon's Irregular Warfare Support Program details the role played by Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) in defending the Islamic Republic and targeting regime opponents around the world.
"MOIS is active wherever the Iranian government has interests," according to the unclassified report, published last month by the Library of Congress and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon's Bill Gertz.
"MOIS provides financial, material, technological, or other support services to Hamas, Hezbollah, and al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), all designated terrorist organizations under U.S. Executive Order 13224," the report states.
Prior to his assassination in 2008, senior Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh lived under MOIS' protection, and Iranian intelligence also provided support - including guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and armor-piercing roadside bombs - to jihadists attacking U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians.
Sunni/Shia doctrinal differences haven't prevented Tehran from collaborating with al-Qaida. Cooperation between the two "is based on their shared opposition to U.S. hegemony in the region -Iraq and Afghanistan, chiefly -and dates to the 1990s," the report says. "The fact that al Qaeda operates in many countries helps Iran achieve its goal of diverting U.S. attention away from Iran's immediate neighborhood." In return, "al Qaeda uses Iran as a place where its facilitators connect al Qaeda's senior leadership with regional affiliates."
MOIS operates in Latin America, working in conjunction with other Iranian intelligence agencies like the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force.
Iranian intelligence operations in countries such as Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, and Ecuador appear to be part of "Iran's strategy of establishing a presence in the backyard of the United States for purposes of expanding Shi'a and revolutionary ideology, establishing networks for intelligence and covert operations, and waging asymmetrical warfare against the United States," the report says. "In Latin America, Iran's intelligence agencies - MOIS but mostly the Quds Force - use Hezbollah to achieve their goals."
MOIS responsibilities range from infiltrating internal opposition groups to aiding the Quds Force in establishing foreign terrorist networks and procuring technology for the Iranian military. The ministry has agents "who abduct individuals abroad, return them to Iran, and then imprison or kill them," the Pentagon report states.
Read the full report here.
Joel Himelfarb, a veteran Washington journalist, is co-author of the best-selling Myths and Facts: A concise record of the Arab-Israeli conflict. A former member of the Washington Times editorial board, his work has been published by media outlets including The Wall Street Journal; the Jerusalem Post; the Daily Caller; Breitbart.com; the American Spectator; Policy Review; and Middle East Quarterly.