Iran Rejects U.S. Charge of Top Terror Sponsor

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -

Iran has rejected an annual U.S. State Department report that once again called it the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism.

State media on Sunday quotes Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari as saying the report is “false” and further evidence of the “lack of credibility of reports by the U.S. State Department.”

As in many previous years, the report identified Iran as the world’s “foremost state sponsor of terrorism in 2015” through its financing, training and equipping of various extremist groups, notably Lebanon’s Hizbullah, as well as the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

For its part, Tehran has defended its support for Palestinian terrorists groups, saying they have the right to resist Israel’s occupation.

And, although their motives are far from altruistic, on the counterterrorism front Shiite-majority Iran is helping Iraqi and Syrian forces battle the Islamic State, a Sunni terror group.