The State Department has released an extensive report on the scope of the Iranian regime's "destructive behavior" at home and abroad on the eve of the Islamic Revolution's 40th anniversary.
The report Outlaw Regime: A Chronicle of Iran's Destructive Activities begins with a letter by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and details the Iranian regime's destructive behavior under seven headings, detailing Iran's support for terrorism, its missile program, illicit financial activities in Iran, threat to maritime security, threat to cybersecurity, the abuse of human rights in Iran and environmental exploitation.
In his introductory letter, Secretary Pompeo explains the reasons for the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran as well as the consequences of the withdrawal from JCPOA for Iran.
Pompeo then explains President Donald Trump's Iran policy, arguing that "the Islamic Republic of Iran is not a normal state," explaining that "Normal states do not attack embassies and military installations in peacetime; fuel terrorist proxies and militias; serve as a sanctuary for terrorists; call for the destruction of Israel and threaten other countries; aid brutal dictators such as Syria’s Bashar al-Assad; proliferate missile technology to dangerous proxies; conduct covert assassinations in other countries; and hold hostage citizens of foreign nations."
He added that normal states do not squander their own natural resources, do not violently suppress legitimate protests, jail their own citizens or those of other countries on specious crimes, engage in torture, and impose severe restrictions on basic freedoms.
Pompeo characterized the report as "a full record of the Islamic Republic’s hostile behavior abroad and its repression at home beyond the continued threat of its nuclear program."
The State Department report documents the long history of the Islamic Republic’s support for terrorism, primarily driven by the IRGC. Stressing that "Since 1979, Iran has made it a policy of state to actively direct, facilitate, and carry out terrorist activity globally."
According to the report, the Islamic regime in Iran has supported terrorism within its own military and intelligence apparatuses including the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and its Qods Force as well as the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).
"Today, the IRGC-QF is active across the Middle East and has plotted or carried out terrorist attacks in five out of seven continents. Where it is unable or unwilling to act directly, the Iranian regime has mastered the use of terrorist proxy groups like Lebanese Hizballah, Palestine Islamic Jihad, the Bahraini Al- Ashtar Brigades and the Iraqi Kata’ib Hizballah to conduct terrorist attacks," the report observed.
The report maintains that by developing ballistic missiles, the Islamic Republic poses "a critical threat to regional security," adding that the tough limitations imposed by UN Security Council on Iran's proliferation activities rolled back following the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran and that Iran has been developing long-range missiles ever since.
Meanwhile, Tehran's "opaque and fraudulent financing activities" to fund its proxies and support its proliferation of ballistic missiles and other weapons have undermined the integrity and security of the global financial system, the report says, adding that in the last year, "the IRGC-QF has been exposed for using front companies to move funds, procure restricted materials and technologies, exploit currency exchange networks in neighboring countries, and produce counterfeit currency."
The report also outlines Iran’s threat to maritime security in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea, observing that Iran has been threatening freedom of navigation in international waters, and its forces have "engaged in numerous unsafe and unprofessional incidents with naval vessels and have a history of illegally detaining U.S. and U.K. sailors." The report also notes that Houthi rebels backed by Iran have made navigation in the Red Sea unsafe for international shipping.
Elsewhere, the report gives an overview of how Iran has been threatening cybersecurity, illustrating the spread of the Islamic Republic’s malign behavior in cyberspace, and outlining how Iranian cyber-attacks have affected critical infrastructure, financial and commercial entities and other institutions in various countries.
Iran has always denied that it supports terrorism, interferes in the affairs of regional countries or engages in any illegal activities. Often, the denials take the form that the groups it supports are fighting for a just cause.
The State Department report also documents "repeated and systemic abuse of human rights" by Iran in violation of international conventions. This includes harassment and marginalizing of religious minorities, and denying citizens of due legal process. According to the report, Iran's prisons are "notorious for mistreatment and torture, and its use of capital punishment is excessive and extends to minors."
The report further observes that violations of human rights by the Iranian regime extend beyond the country's borders as "its proxies have committed numerous human rights abuses, including targeting innocent civilians in Syria and arbitrarily detaining Sunnis in Iraq."
In its final chapter, the report explains the environmental "tragedy" and "crisis" in Iran which is an outcome of misguided agricultural policies, and IRGC-driven dam projects that have brought about serious water shortage in the country that has forced the migration of millions of Iranians in the absence of a proper government response to the worsening environmental condition.
Secretary Pompeo says at the end of his introduction, "Iran is a society with so much greater potential. We want to reach a new agreement with Iran that ensures its nuclear activities are peaceful and that its role in the Middle East is constructive. We seek a deal that ensures Iran does not support terrorism around the world and provides for greater opportunity to its own people. We are prepared to work with the Iranian regime, but only if it makes major changes. Until then, the Iranian regime can rest assured of our firm resolve to counter their destabilizing activities. Given the record we have published today, they should expect nothing less."