State Dept. Mulls Labeling Anti-Iranian Group Terrorists

Label Would Be "Sign of Good Faith" to Iran

The US State Department is reportedly adding the Jundallah group to its list of terrorists. The group was responsible for a suicide bombing earlier this week in a Zahedan mosque, killing at least 30 and wounding scores of others.

The move is said to be eyed as a conciliatory move toward the Iranian government, which President Obama is seeking to enter into negotiations with. The group has often targeted and killed Iranian soldiers in the southeastern province of Sistan-Balochistan.

Jundallah is a separatist militia made up of Sunni Balochs. The group is one of many that seeks to separate Sistan-Balochistan as well as the Pakistani province of Balochistan into an independent nation. It is also accused of having ties to al-Qaeda.

In addition to those ties, however, Jundallah has reportedly been encouraged and advised by US officials since 2005. The US ties reportedly do not include any direct funding, which would require congressional oversight, and were part of an overall US policy of undermining the Iranian government. While declaring the group to be officially terrorist would hardly be a controversial move, it would signal a significant shift in US policy toward Iran.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.