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U.S. Funding of State Sponsored Terrorism: A Paradox in Middle East Security

by Ram ben Ze'ev (Conservative Values)

U.S. Funding of State Sponsored Terrorism: A Paradox in Middle East Security
U.S. Funding of State Sponsored Terrorism: A Paradox in Middle East Security

In the labyrinth of geopolitics, the United States often finds itself entangled in paradoxes, where its actions seem to contradict its stated objectives. Two prominent examples of such paradoxes emerge in its dealings with Iran and Israel, where on one hand it is funding terrorism while with the other hand, it provides support through purported strategic alliances and military aid programs to combat that terrorism. The plane loads of cash given to Iran by the Obama and Biden administrations, coupled with the method of providing Israel credits to purchase military armaments, raise questions about U.S. foreign policy and its implications for global security.

The saga begins with the controversial transfer of billions of dollars to Iran, orchestrated by the Obama and Biden administrations as part of the nuclear deal negotiations in 2015. The manner in which this payment was made, in the form of cash flown into Iran on unmarked planes, in foreign currencies, effectively amounted to state sponsorship of terrorism. The concern heightened as Iran continued its support for militant groups in the region, further destabilizing the Middle East.

The substantial funds transferred to Iran by the U.S. administration in previous years have created a troubling nexus between state-sponsored financing and terrorist activities targeting Israel. The 7 October 2023 terrorist attacks against Israel, along with subsequent an numerous rocket attacks against Israel, perpetrated by Arab terrorists, underscore the grave consequences of unrestricted cash injections into regimes known for supporting extremist proxies. Iran's longstanding history of backing Arab militant groups opposed to Israel's existence, coupled with its rhetoric of hostility, paints a disturbing picture of how U.S. taxpayers' funds fuel violence and instability in the region. The continued attacks serve as a stark reminder of the urgent need for heightened vigilance and strategic reassessment in U.S. foreign policy to prevent the misuse of resources for terrorist agendas. Efforts to curb state sponsorship of terrorism must be prioritized to mitigate the grave humanitarian and security threats posed by such actions.

Through Foreign Military Financing (FMF), the U.S. provides credits to Israel, enabling it to procure advanced weaponry from its own military-industrial complex. On the surface, this arrangement appears to strengthen Israel's ability to defend itself against terrorist threats. However, it would be ironic if it was not so tragic that that U.S. taxpayers are funding both sides of the conflict. While Israel fights against terrorism, the same groups receive support from Iran, whose coffers were replenished by the U.S. cash injections. The United States' provision of funding to Iran leads to a scenario where Israel becomes dependent on the United States for its military hardware.

The paradox deepens as the geopolitical landscape evolves. With the Biden administration's return to negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, concerns resurface about the potential flow of funds to entities designated as terrorist organizations. While the administration emphasizes diplomatic engagement and aims to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions, the release of Iranian funds and other assets under the Biden administration risks repeating the cash transfers seen during the Obama era, potentially further emboldening Iran's proxy networks across the region and fueling terrorism.

Simultaneously, Israel faces an increasingly complex security environment, with threats emanating from non-state actors and hostile neighboring states. The U.S. says that it remains committed to bolstering Israel's qualitative military edge, ensuring its ability to deter and defend against aggression. Yet, the paradox persists as U.S. financial assistance to Iran contributes to a cycle of conflict and instability in the region. The money supplied to Iran to counter terrorism empowers its adversaries supported by Iran, perpetuating a vicious cycle of violence.

Amidst these complexities, the role of U.S. foreign policy comes under scrutiny. The pursuit of short-term diplomatic gains often overlooks the long-term consequences of empowering actors with dubious agendas. The lack of a comprehensive strategy to address state sponsorship of terrorism undermines efforts to promote peace and stability in the Middle East.

Moreover, the inherent contradictions in U.S. policy fuel anti-American sentiment and erode trust among regional allies. As U.S. complicity in funding terrorism gain traction, it undermines efforts to build coalitions and alliances to combat extremism effectively. The credibility of the U.S. as a mediator and arbiter of peace is called into question, further complicating efforts to resolve protracted conflicts.

Addressing this conundrum requires a re-evaluation of U.S. priorities and a recalibration of its approach to the Middle East. Transparency and accountability in financial transactions with Iran are essential to prevent the use of U.S. taxpayer funds by terrorist organizations.

Ultimately, the paradox of U.S. funding in the context of Iran and Israel underscores the complexity of navigating geopolitics in the modern era. Balancing strategic interests with moral imperatives requires careful deliberation and foresight. As the U.S. grapples with these challenges, it must strive to uphold its purported principles while advancing its national interests, lest it become ensnared in the very web of terrorism it claims it seeks to dismantle.


Bill White (Ram ben Ze'ev) is CEO of WireNews and Executive Director of Hebrew Synagogue


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