State sponsor of terrorism
The United States defines a state sponsor of terrorism as a country which has "repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism". Once so designated, resulting sanctions to penalize persons and countries engaging in state-sponsored terrorism fall into four categories of "restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions." 
The U.S. Department of State has designated the following countries as state sponsors of terrorism. 
- Cuba, March 1, 1982
- Iran, January 19, 1984
- North Korea, January 20, 1988
- Sudan, August 12, 1993
- Syria, December 29, 1979
The designation "also implicates other sanctions laws that penalize persons and countries engaging in certain trade with state sponsors. Currently there are six countries designated under these authorities: Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria." 
Also see "Overview of State Sponsored Terrorism" in State Department Country Reports on Terrorism.
Designated Sponsors of State Terrorism
"On October 20, 2004, Iraq was formally removed from this list," Rodger A. Payne wrote in his blog September 14, 2005. "Since May 2003, the President had made terror-related sanctions inapplicable to Iraq, under authority granted by Congress.
"Iraq, of course, was previously removed from this list in February 1982, when the Reagan administration wanted to provide aid and trade credits during its war with Iraq, and was re-designated only after its invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. During that period, experts say that Iraq continued to sponsor terrorism," Payne wrote.
"Indeed, since the Islamic revolution of 1979 and the infamous seizure of hostages at the American embassy in Teheran, Iran has been a prime enemy of America," Con Coughlin wrote November 14, 2006, in his Telegraph (UK) blog.
"So grave a threat was it thought to be that Saddam Hussein's regime was supported in the Iraq-Iran war as a bulwark against Iranian Islamic fundamentalism.
"Now Saddam has been displaced by his former allies in the West, and — with bizarre irony — the Iranian regime that was his old nemesis may be invited in with Syria to carve up the spoils of his country.
"This approach, in which two countries once branded by the Bush White House as unambiguously evil miraculously become 'part of the solution', defies any credible logic except that of ignominious desperation," Coughlin wrote.
"In 2005, the State Department stopped publishing its annual report Patterns of Global Terrorism, claiming that the new National Counterterrorism Center will be publishing most of the same data. The NCTC's first report, however, is simply a chronology of 2004 incidents of terrorism," Rodger A. Payne wrote in his blog September 14, 2005.
The Country Reports on Terrorism are "apparently the new State document that will replace the old Patterns annual report," Payne wrote.
In April 2006, the U.S. Department of State's "annual report on worldwide terrorism singled out Iran as the most active state sponsor of terrorism, saying that its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Ministry of Intelligence and Security have been directly involved in the planning and support of terrorist attacks." 
"The report tallied some 11,000 terror attacks around the world last year, resulting in more than 14,600 deaths. That figure signified almost a fourfold increase in attacks from 2004, though the agency attributed the change largely to new ways of tallying the incidents.
"At least 10,000 to 15,000 of the approximately 40,000 people killed or wounded worldwide were Muslims, most of them in Iraq, said the National Counterterrorism Center, which provided the data to the State Department.
"Approximately 3,500 of last year's attacks occurred in Iraq, and about 8,300 of the deaths occurred there, as well, accounting for a large part of the increase over 2004." 
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Al Qaeda
- Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the prime training ground for foreign terrorists
- Iraqi insurgency
- Islamofascist (Islamofascism)
- Axis of Evil
- Bush doctrine
- failed state
- Funding terrorism
- Global War on Terror
- Iraq Study Group
- outposts of tyranny
- Proactive Preemptive Operations Group
- regime change in Syria
- rogue state
- United States as a rogue nation
- violence in the Middle East
- war in Iran
- weapons of mass destruction
- State-sponsored terrorism and U.S. list of state sponsors of international terrorism in the Wikipedia.
- "State Department Report Cites Seven State-Sponsors of Terrorism. (Iran remains most active state sponsor, report says)," U.S. Department of State/U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, May 21, 2001.
- "Saddam Hussein's Support for International Terrorism," White House, [2002 ?].
- Donna Miles, "U.S. Removes Iraq From List of State Sponsors of Terrorism," U.S. Department of Defense, American Forces Press Service, October 22, 2004.
- "Fact Sheet: Rescission of Libya’s Designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism," U.S. Department of State/U.S. Embassy in Libya, May 15, 2006.
Reports & Documents
- "Patterns of Global Terrorism, 1993," U.S. Department of State, April 1994. Posted by Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
- "Patterns of Global Terrorism: 1997," U.S. Department of State, May 2, 1997. Posted by Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
- "Terrorism: Middle Eastern Groups and State Sponsors, 1999" prepared by Kenneth Katzman, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division, Congressional Research Service, August 9, 1999.
- "Terrorism: Middle Eastern Groups and State Sponsors, 2000" prepared by Kenneth Katzman, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division, Congressional Research Service, August 17, 2000.
- Patterns of Global Terrorism 2001.
- "Terrorism: Near Eastern Groups and State Sponsors, 2001" prepared by Kenneth Katzman, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division, Congressional Research Service, September 10, 2001.
- "Terrorism: Near Eastern Groups and State Sponsors, 2002" prepared by Kenneth Katzman, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division, Congressional Research Service, Updated February 13, 2002. Posted by Federation of American Scientists (FAS).
- "Country Reports on Terrorism 2004," U.S. Department of State, April 27, 2005.
- "Cuba and the State Sponsors of Terrorism List" prepared by Mark P. Sullivan, Specialist in Latin American Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division, for the Congressional Research Service, updated May 13, 2005. Posted by FAS.
- "State Sponsors: Iran" and State Sponsors: Syria," Council on Foreign Relations, July 2006.
Articles & Commentary
- David Schenker, "Removing Syria from the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism," Washington Institute for Near East Policy, January 5, 2000.
- Jeremy R. Hammond, "State Sponsors of Terrorism. Applying the US Standard," CounterPunch, July 6, 2005.
- Rodger A. Payne, "Terrorism: State sponsor update," PKBlogs.com, September 14, 2005.
- Fareed Zakaria, "Terrorists Don't Need States. The danger is less that a state will sponsor a terror group and more that a terror group will sponsor a state—as happened in Afghanistan," Newsweek (MSNBC), April 5, 2006.
- David Gollust, "US Report Calls Iran 'Most Active' State Sponsor of Terrorism," U.S. Department of State (Voice of America News), April 28, 2006.
- Hassan Thakuru, "State Sponsored Terrorism," MinivanNews.com, November 10, 2006.
- Con Coughlin "Blair's desperate new plan for the Middle East," Blog: The world at war/Telegraph (UK), November 14, 2006.
- "Poll: 93% of Israelis worry about terror," Jerusalem Post and Associated Press, November 21, 2006.