US tags Iran anew as top terror sponsor, global attacks fall

September 19, 2018 - 9:01 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States has once again named Iran as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, accusing it of intensifying numerous conflicts and trying to undermine governments throughout the Middle East.

The State Department's annual survey of global terrorism released on Wednesday said Iran and its proxies are responsible for fomenting violence in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. The report said Iranian fighters and Iran-backed militias, like Lebanon's Hezbollah, had emerged emboldened from the war in Syria and with valuable battlefield experience they seek to leverage elsewhere.

In addition, the survey reported a 24 percent decrease in attacks around the world between 2016 and 2017. That was due mainly to a sharp decline in the number of attacks in Iraq, where the Islamic State group has been largely displaced.