Only months after the Islamic Revolution, a radical group of Iranian students stormed the American Embassy in Tehran, taking 66 Americans hostage, 52 of which were held for 444 days. The hostages were beaten, placed in solitary confinement for extended periods of time, regularly forced to have their hands bound, and "threatened repeatedly with execution."
Iran Hostage Crisis
November 4, 1979 — January 20, 1981
Spanning a full decade, the Lebanon Hostage Crisis refers to systematic abductions of foreign nationals in Lebanon by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah. Of the total 96 foreign nationals abducted, 25 U.S. citizens were kidnapped, making Americans the most targeted national group. A number of hostages died in captivity as a result of inadequate medical care, torture, or execution.
Lebanon Hostage Crisis
A suicide bomber rammed a truck carrying 2,000 pounds of explosives, resulting in the death of the entire U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Middle East contingent. The attack, directed by Hezbollah and financed by Iran, "initiated the modern era of suicide bombings. "
U.S. Embassy Bombing in Beirut
April 18, 1983
241 U.S. marines were killed and over 100 wounded when an Iranian suicide bomber drove a truck carrying the equivalent of 15,000-21,000 pounds of TNT into the U.S. Marine Barracks at Beirut International Airport. Causing the "largest non-nuclear explosion that had ever been detonated on the face of the Earth," the bombing was the “deadliest terrorist attack on Americans before 9/11.”
Beirut Barracks Bombing
October 23, 1983
The bombing of the U.S. embassy in Kuwait left five victims dead and eighty-six injured. Other targets included “the French embassy, the control tower at the airport, the country's main oil refinery, and a residential area for employees of the American corporation Raytheon.” The attack was carried out by "Hezbollah and operatives of the Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite group Da'wa."
U.S. Embassy Bombing in Kuwait
December 12, 1983
24 people were killed when a van carrying three thousand pounds of explosives detonated outside the U.S. Embassy annex in East Beirut. The CIA noted at the time that that "an overwhelming body of circumstantial evidence points to Hizballah, operating with Iranian support under the cover name of Islamic Jihad."
Bombing of U.S. Embassy Annex in East Beirut
September 20, 1984
On the morning of June 14, 1985, members of Iran-backed Hezbollah hijacked TWA Flight 847 in order to gain leverage in their demands for “the release of Shia prisoners held in Kuwait, Israel, and Spain.” Iran played a central role in both the “supervision and planning of the incident.”
Hijacking of TWA Flight 847
June 14, 1985
With the help of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and embedded agents within Saudi petroleum facilities, Hezbollah al-Hejaz embarked upon a series of high-profile attacks targeting Saudi oil interests between August 1987 and March 1988.
Saudi Hezbollah Attacks Petroleum Facilities
August 1987 - April 1988
In 1992, Iran’s terrorist proxy Hezbollah perpetrated a suicide truck bomb attack on the Israeli embassy in Argentina, which killed 29 people and injured 242 others, the great majority of which were civilian bystanders in the vicinity of the embassy.
1992 Israeli Embassy Bombing in Buenos Aires
March 17, 1992
Iran was directly responsible for the 1994 AMIA Jewish community center bombing in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 and injured 300. The AMIA attack remains the deadliest terrorist attack in Argentina’s history. Ahmad Vahidi, the former Iranian Defense Minister and IRGC Commander, is wanted by INTERPOL for his lead role in the bombing.
July 18, 1994
The bombing of Khobar Towers, a U.S. military housing complex in Saudi Arabia, left nineteen Americans dead and 372 injured. The attackers detonated a parked truck laden with the equivalent of 3,000-8,000 pounds of explosives in the Khobar Towers parking lot. 14 members of the Iran-backed Saudi branch of Hezbollah have been held responsible for the attack.
Khobar Towers Bombing
June 25, 1996
Lebanese Hezbollah forces abducted three Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers patrolling on the Israeli side of the border with Lebanon. The Hezbollah cell planted a powerful bomb along the border fence which exploded as their vehicle passed by, breaching a gate and severely wounding three IDF soldiers inside the patrol vehicle.
Hezbollah Cross-Border Raid
October 7, 2000
A massive bomb targeting the armed convoy of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, an outspoken critic of Syria’s military presence in Lebanon, exploded in downtown Beirut, killing Hariri and 22 others, and wounding hundreds more. In 2011, the tribunal indicted five Hezbollah members including Mustafa Badreddine, a prominent commander linked to the 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Beirut.
Assassination of Rafik Hariri
February 14, 2005
Iranian support for the Taliban against U.S. troops in Afghanistan has been ongoing since at least 2006. According to a RAND report, "although Iran has traditionally backed Tajik and Shi'a groups opposed to the Taliban, its enmity with the United States and tensions over the nuclear program… led it to provide measured support to the Taliban."
Support for the Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistan
2006 - 2014
U.S. agents disrupted an assassination plot allegedly directed by the Iranian government targeting Saudi Arabia’s then-ambassador to Washington, Adel al-Jubeir. Arbabsiar was arrested on September 29, 2011 at JFK International Airport, confessing to the plot and receiving a 25-year prison sentence, while Shakuri remains uncaptured.
2011 Iran Assassination Plot
Two Iranian nationals, allegedly members of the IRGC-Quds Force, were arrested by Kenyan security forces on June 19, and subsequently led the authorities to a cache of RDX, a powerful explosive, large enough to topple a tall building. Kenyan officials believed the Iranians intended to target American, British, Israeli or Saudi Arabian interests within Kenya.
Iranians Arrested in Kenya with Large Cache of Explosives
June 19, 2012
As part of the investigation into the explosives smuggled aboard a passenger bus in March 2015, Bahraini officials discovered a warehouse in the village of Dar Kulaib containing a large quantity of high-quality explosives and bomb-making materials. The training was carried out by Kata’ib Hezbollah and the IRGC, who also provided the cell with logistical and financial support.
Bahraini Officials Discover Warehouse with Explosives
In Kuwait’s Al-Abdali area, they discovered a total of 42,000 lbs. of ammunition, 144 kg of explosives – including C4 explosives – 68 weapons, and 204 grenades. The cell was charged with plotting with Iran and Hezbollah to destabilize Kuwait’s national security.
Kuwait Foils Hezbollah-Linked Terror Plot, Seizes Arms Cache