Iran assassination plot: Four attacks that have been blamed on Iran

For years, US officials have described Iran as the “most active” state sponsor of terror in the world. Many have been carried out by proxy forces, such as Lebanese Hezbollah, which was created by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in 1982, so the exact nature of the role of the Islamic Republic, if any, often remains uncertain. Here’s a list of major terror attacks blamed on Iran in the past four decades.

1.US Embassy in Tehran, 1979

One of the American hostages-his hands bound blindfolded-is displayed to the crowd outside the American embassy in Tehran, Nov. 9, 1979. Some of the militant Iranian students who seized the embassy in the Iranian capital flank the hostage. (AP/File)

Within months of Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, militant students seized the US Embassy in Tehran, taking 52 American diplomats hostage for 444 days.

This act, which Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini praised as a “second revolution, greater than the first,” set in train a three decades of mutual hostility between the US and Iran.

US Embassy in Beirut, 1983

A bulldozer demolishes the bombed out building of the American embassy in Beirut in 1983. (Reuters/File)

A suicide truck bomb in April 1983 destroyed the US Embassy in Beirut, killing 63 people – among them eight of the CIA’s top Middle East analysts. Hezbollah operatives supported by Iran and Syria were believed to have been responsible for the attack.

Another suicide truck bomb the following October targeted the US Marines headquarters at the Beirut airport, killing 241 Americans. Twenty seconds later – in what was clearly a well-coordinated attack – another suicide truck bomb killed 74 at the French Army barracks in Beirut. The culprits were never identified; Hezbollah denied any role, though a caller to a Western news organization claimed that “Islamic Jihad” made the attack.

Buenos Aires Jewish center, 1994

A man places a black balloon by the names a pictures of the victims of the 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish community center on the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attack in 2009. (Natacha Pisarenko/AP/File)

In 1994, a Buenos Aires Jewish cultural center was bombed. Eighty-five people were killed and 300 were injured. Argentinian prosecutors charged Lebanese militant group Hezbollah with carrying out the plot and Iranian officials with directing them. Iran’s current minister of Defense, Ahmad Vahedi, was allegedly part of the plot.

Both Hezbollah and the Iranian government denied responsibility in the attack.

Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, 1996

US and Saudi military personnel survey the damage to Khobar Towers caused by the explosion of a fuel truck outside the northern fence of the facility on King Abdul Aziz Air Base near Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in 1996. (Reuters/File)

Nineteen US servicemen were killed when the Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, were bombed in 1996. The housing complex, located in the vicinity of national oil company headquarters, was being used to house US military personnel.

Saudi Arabia absolved Iran of charges in 1998, claiming that only Saudi citizens were responsible for the attack. However, the US continued pressing on with its claims that Iran played a role and asked the Iranian government for help with the investigation. Iran rejected the request. The US never brought formal charges against Iranian officials.