AFP: Iran and Syria “remain leading state sponsors of terrorism,” top US counterterrorism official John Brennan said on Wednesday while introducing a new American anti-terrorism strategy.
WASHINGTON, June 29, 2011 (AFP) – Iran and Syria “remain leading state sponsors of terrorism,” top US counterterrorism official John Brennan said on Wednesday while introducing a new American anti-terrorism strategy.
“Hezbollah and Hamas are terrorist organizations that threaten Israel and our interests in the Middle East. We will therefore continue to use the full range of our foreign policy tools to prevent these regimes and terrorist organizations from endangering our national security,” Brennan said.
Brennan said US strategy acknowledges “that there are numerous nations and groups that support terrorism in order to oppose US interests.”
President Barack Obama’s top counterterrorism aid spoke at an address Wednesday at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.
Iran and Syria both support Hezbollah, which the US has blacklisted as a terrorist organization.
On Wednesday British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Iran has carried out secret tests of ballistic missiles capable of delivering a nuclear payload. The day before, US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Iran was “bragging” about its assets, but did not specify whether Washington thought the tested missiles were nuclear-capable.
In Syria, security forces have continued their prolonged crackdown on protesters and on Wednesday Syrian troops killed seven civilians when they stormed two northwestern villages to quash dissent against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, according to a rights activist.