ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - The US State Department has released its annual report on international terrorism activity and concluded that Islamic State (ISIS) is "the greatest threat globally" while Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism.
The report estimates that deaths caused by terrorist attacks across the world had actually declined in 2015 by 14% compared to 2014.
While terror bombings in France, Lebanon and Turkey made headlines, attacks in terror hot-spots like Iraq, Nigeria and Pakistan decreased.
On average 981 acts of terror were carried out across the world each month, killing a total of 28,328.
The report warns that the threat of terror “continued to evolve rapidly in 2015, becoming increasingly decentralized and diffuse.”
Iran, the report said, "remained the foremost state sponsor of terrorism in 2015, providing a range of support, including financial, training, and equipment, to groups around the world."
Tehran also continues to arm groups like Hezbollah and other armed Shia groups in the region that Washington has designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
The US State Department lists a host of armed groups across the world as terrorist organizations.
The State Department also lists state sponsors of such terrorist groups. Iran, along with Syria and Sudan, remain classified by the US government as state sponsors of terror. Cuba has been removed from this list.
Previously, a few groups have been removed from the State Department’s list. One notable example was the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK), a group fighting Iran which has long been based in Iraq.
The MEK was disarmed and lobbied US officials to delist them since they claimed to have become a wholly political movement which only opposes the current regime in Iran. Their complaint was accepted and the group was removed from the list back in 2012.
Source: RUDAW, June 4, 2016