In a fact sheet published on Friday, the U.S. Department of State highlighted allegations that since coming to power the Iranian regime has been involved in more than 360 assassinations, terrorist plots, and terrorist attacks in more than 40 countries.
"Senior Iranian officials have declared that Iran follows and constantly surveils Iranian dissidents in other countries to 'crack down' on them” and 'strike decisive blows'," the fact sheet says and alleges that Iran's "global campaign of terror" has included as many as 360 targeted assassinations in other countries as well as mass bombings that have killed and maimed hundreds.
According to the fact sheet, the United States believes that these assassinations have primarily been carried out by the Revolutionary Guard's Qods Force and the Ministry of intelligence but also via third parties and proxies such as the Hezbollah of Lebanon.
The State Department fact sheet also says Iran uses diplomatic cover and is willing to use criminal gangs and drug cartels to carry out its clandestine operations abroad.
Political dissidents, ethnic and religious minority leaders and activists, and foreign government officials, as well as Iranian civil society activists and journalists abroad, are among the targets of the regime, the fact sheet says.
The assassination of Iranian-Kurdish opposition leader Sadeq (Sadegh) Sharafkandi and three others at the Myknonos Greek restaurant in Berlin in 1992 and the bombing of the Associación Israelita Argentina (AMIA) building in Buenos Aires in 1994 are the best-known historical cases of Iranian operations abroad. Iran has always denied any involvement in these incidents.
The assassination of Masoud Molavi Vardanjani in Istanbul in November 2019 is one of the most recent cases in which fingers were pointed at the Iranian regime. The controversial editor of "The Black Box" website who had published allegation about corruption within the military elite as well as Khamenei's son Mojtaba, was murdered on the street in Turkey. According to senior Turkish officials quoted by Reuters in March, the murder was instigated by two intelligence officers stationed in Iran's consulate in Turkey.
Iran has also repeatedly accused journalists working for Persian-language media abroad of treason and made threats against them to stop them from reporting on news that are highly censored inside the country.