Counter Terrorism Policies and Organizations in Iran

On the bright sunny morning of September 11, Al Qaeda terrorists organized one of the most destructive attacks the world has ever seen. They hijacked four commercial planes using them as weapons for annihilation. Two planes full of passengers were flown directly into the twin towers of the World Trade Center immediately killing thousands of people. The third plane targeted the Pentagon and the hijackers of the fourth plane aimed to hit Washington DC but the passengers fought back crashing the plane in Pennsylvania.

The terrorists carefully and patiently devised this plan of attack which was never foreseen by the American government. Instantly, then President George Bush vowed that fighting terrorism would be his administration’s top priority. This 9/11incident is one of the many attacks that molded the image of terrorism all over the world. This fateful incident led the leaders of the world to make a commitment to fight terrorism (Gjelten). The war on terrorism is a seemingly endless fight.

Some people say that this is a political war; others say that this is merely a clash of ideologies most specifically Islamic ideologies against the world but the raison d’etre behind every act of terror does not matter because the very act itself produces the same result- terrorism continues to steal thousands of innocent lives and strike terror in the hearts of people all throughout the world. In order to respond to these attacks, countries from all ends of the world met and created laws in order to prevent the admission of terrorists.

The worsening crisis in terrorism paved the way to the enactment of the adoption of Anti-terrorism policies by the Justice and Home Affairs Council of the European Countries on June 13, 2002. The policy describes the different forms of terrorist attack as well as the corresponding penalties keeping in mind the most sacred and fundamental human rights. The anti-terrorism campaign also includes several courses of action for the battle against international organized crimes. Through the cooperation of EU Countries, the member states adopted a uniform policy on visas thereby lessening illegal immigration.

On December 6, 2001, the United States and the EUROPOL agreed to share strategic and technical information concerning several policies about the manner of prevention and investigation of combating serious international crimes (“Reinforcement of EU Policy against Terrorism”). The United States have several laws against terrorist even before the 9/11 attack. The US Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provided that an alien who had been engaged in terrorist activity or those under suspicion of being a terrorist cannot enter the United States territory.

Terrorist activity has been defined as any violent attack against persons, assassinations including hijacking planes and using chemical or nuclear weapons and any similar activity. Shortly after the 9/11 attack, the USA Patriot Act provided a wider definition of terrorist activity which now includes any person who have taken advantage of any position whether public or private to endorse aid or abet any terrorist activity or organization (Schoenholtz & Hojaiban).

In a joint effort to capture members of the Kurdisan Workers’ party, Turkey and Iraq finalized negotiations regarding counter- terrorism agreement allowing Turkey to engage in hot pursuit of PKK terrorists at its base in northern Iraq (Anti-Terror Group, 2007). Iran is one of the countries that contributed greatly in terrorism. They have a special relationship with the Islamic Jihad due to the fact that they get paid for building nuclear weapons for them. They also played a great role in the war between Israel and Pakistan.

They provide training and weapons for the war soldiers. Yonah Alexander, an expert in counter-terrorism said that in order to start negotiations with Iran, the past events and policies of the country in connection with terrorism must first be taken into consideration. In 1980, the United States Embassy in Beirut was bombed by the Islamic Jihad resulting in the death and injuries of several people. About twenty eight years ago, the United States failed to rescue the hostages taken in the Embassy in Iran.

An important point to consider way back then was that it was difficult to plan anti-terrorism measures because the times did not call for it unlike today. Just recently, Iran’s nuclear-making operations were suspended because of the inquiries made by several countries who had been alarmed by such activity. The investigation of IAEA led to the discovery of eighteen years of hidden nuclear activities. Even though Iran answered several questions, many remained unconvinced.

On October 2003, after the Iraq invasion, Iran joined the International Atomic Energy Agency and signed a protocol stating that they support and promote its safeguard procedures (Cochran). In 2007, the Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki made a statement saying that Iran is willing to consider talks with the United States on Iraq even after the United States Ambassador in Baghdad; Ryan Crocker made a complaint about the participation of Iran in terrorist activity by extending supports by supplying weapons and training to terrorists.

Several attempts towards negotiations have been made by Iran but were rejected by the United States. Indeed, it is seemingly hard to forge anti-terrorist strategy with Iran considering that it gives support to terrorist activity but no matter what the situation is, Iran is also a country that realized how much they wanted change and hw much they desire a different way of life for its people so there is a possibility that peace and negotiation talks might happen (Winer, 2007). Policy makers all throughout the world have different ideas and strategies but they all lead to one goal, which is to win the fight against terrorism.

It is greatly devastating to see millions of innocent lives being lost and it is precisely because of this reason that in this type of battle, nobody ever wins. The value of human life is nothing compared to a political belief or an ideology. The most effective way of fighting terrorism is to stop them before they get a chance to execute their plan. However, no matter how good the intentions are in enacting these laws, the extreme policies of several countries should also undergo some changes. The definition of terrorist and suspected terrorist should be reevaluated so as not to prejudice innocent people who are also seeking refuge.

Indeed, the counter- terrorism negotiations with Iran has been on a rough road but through patience and constant communication, many people strongly believe that it will soon be achieved. An important thing to consider in opening renegotiations is that Iran should declare every detail and surrender all its accounts concerning their development of nuclear programs. They should also make a stand that they would severe all their efforts in supporting terrorism. It is important to keep in mind that the main reason why everybody is uniting against terrorism is to protect the people and not to push them directly in harm’s way.

Works Cited Anti-Terror Group. 2007. ”Turkey, Iraq to sigh counter-terrorism deal, hot pursuit on agenda”. PKKterror. com. 22 April 2009 http://www. pkkterror. com/content/view/711/27/> Gjelten, T. 2009. “September 11 Attacks. ” Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia. 22 April 2009<http://encarta. msn. com © 1997-2009 Microsoft Corporation>. “Reinforcement of EU Policy against Terrorism”. 2005. Hellenic Republic, Embassy of Greece. 22 April 2009 <http://www. greekembassy. org/embassy/content/en/Article. aspx? office=1&folder=39&article=58>

Schoenholtz, Andrew and Jeniffer Hojaiban. 2008. “ International Migration and Anti-Terrorism Laws and Policies; Balancing Security and Refugee Protection”. Institute for the Study of International Migration Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. 22 April 2009. <http://isim. georgetown. edu/Publications/GMF%20Materials/AntiTerrorismLaws. pdf Winer, J. 2007. “Paradoxical Policies For Pakistan and Iran”. Counterterrorism Blog. 24 April 24, 2009. http://counterterrorismblog. org/2007/08/paradoxical_policies_for_pakis. php>

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