| Despite the victory
for moderates in Iran's Majles elections in February,
aggressive countermeasures by hardline conservatives
have blocked most reform efforts. Iran remained
the most active state sponsor of terrorism in 2000.
Its Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Ministry
of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) continued to
be involved in the planning and the execution of
terrorist acts and continued to support a variety
of groups that use terrorism to pursue their goals.
Iran's involvement in terrorist-related activities
remained focused on support for groups opposed
to Israel and peace between Israel and its neighbors.
Statements by Iran's leaders demonstrated Iran's
unrelenting hostility to Israel. Supreme Leader
Khamenei continued to refer to Israel as a "cancerous
tumor" that must be removed; President Khatami,
labeling Israel an "illegal entity,"
called for sanctions against Israel during the
intifadah; and Expediency Council Secretary Rezai
said, "Iran will continue its campaign against
Zionism until Israel is completely eradicated."
Iran has long provided Lebanese Hizballah
and the Palestinian rejectionist groups--notably
Islamic Jihad, and Ahmad Jibril's PFLP-GC--with
varying amounts of funding, safehaven, training,
and weapons. This activity continued at its already
high levels following the Israeli withdrawal from
southern Lebanon in May and during the intifadah
in the fall. Iran continued to encourage Hizballah
and the Palestinian groups to coordinate their
planning and to escalate their activities against
Israel. Iran also provided a lower level of support--including
funding, training, and logistics assistance--to
extremist groups in the Gulf, Africa, Turkey,
and Central Asia.
Although the Iranian Government has taken no
direct action to date to implement Ayatollah Khomeini's
fatwa against Salman Rushdie, the decree has not
been revoked, and the $2.8 million bounty for
his assassination has not been withdrawn. Moreover,
hardline Iranians continued to stress that the
decree is irrevocable. On the anniversary of the
fatwa in February, the IRGC released a statement
that the decree remains in force, and Ayatollah
Yazdi, a member of the Council of Guardians, reiterated
that "the decree is irrevocable and, God
willing, will be carried out."
Iran also was a victim of Mujahedin-e-Khalq
(MEK)-sponsored terrorism. The Islamic Republic
presented a letter to the UN Secretary General
in October citing seven acts of sabotage by the
MEK against Iran between January and August 2000.
The United States has designated the MEK as a
Foreign Terrorist Organization.