Middle East

Pompeo says Iran is Al Qaeda’s ‘new dwelling port’, gives no robust proof

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned on Tuesday that al-Qaeda had a “new dwelling base” in Iran, a declare that was instantly rejected by the Islamic Republic.

The senior Trump administration diplomat accused Iran of offering a secure haven for lots of of members of the armed group, with Al Qaeda centralizing its management contained in the nation.

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“Al-Qaeda has a brand new base, it is the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Pompeo advised the Nationwide Press Membership in Washington DC.

Pompeo claimed that the armed group established Iran as its “operational headquarters” in 2015, when US President Barack Obama was working to finalize the Iran nuclear deal.

“Iran has determined to permit Al Qaeda to determine a brand new operational headquarters provided that members of Al Qaeda abide by the regime’s guidelines governing Al Qaeda’s keep within the nation.” , he mentioned.

But Pompeo provided no proof to assist this particular declare.

Iranian Overseas Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif instantly denounced the allegations on Twitter, accusing Pompeo of “warmongering lies”.

Tuesday’s accusations observe long-standing allegations that the Islamic Republic has provided such assist, together with sheltering members of the family of Osama bin Laden.

The claims have been broadly dismissed by safety analysts, who say the deep political divisions between the 2 have made them bitter enemies.

One supply of proof supplied by Pompeo was a letter discovered by the Navy Seals throughout the raid on the Bin Laden compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

“Iran is our predominant artery for fund personnel and communication. There isn’t any have to battle with Iran. Except you’re compelled to,” the letter learn, quoted by Pompeo.

Following the announcement, Pompeo introduced sanctions in opposition to al-Qaeda leaders allegedly primarily based in Iran and referred to as on the UN to sanction the Islamic Republic for its hyperlinks with the armed group, citing UN Security Council Resolution 1267.

Earlier hyperlinks discredited

Former President George W. Bush additionally accused Iran of getting hyperlinks to the September 11 assaults on america, however these claims have since been debunked.

A former senior US intelligence official with first-hand data of the matter advised Reuters that Iran was by no means pals with Al Qaeda earlier than or after the 9/11 assaults and that any claims of present cooperation must be seen with warning.

But studies have surfaced through the years that members of Al Qaeda had been in hiding in Iran.

In November, the New York Occasions reported that Abu Muhammad al-Masri, an activist accused of organizing the bombings of two American embassies in Africa in 1998, was killed in Tehran by Israeli brokers.

Iran denied that Masri had ever been in Iran and claimed that no different Al Qaeda figures had been current within the nation.

Pompeo himself has additionally made allegations earlier than, with out providing concrete proof.

In October 2017, when he was director of the CIA, Pompeo mentioned that “there have been instances when the Iranians labored alongside Al Qaeda.”

Most strain marketing campaign

Iran has been a predominant goal of the Trump administration lately, with the president abandoning the Iranian nuclear cope with world powers in 2018 and embarking on a “most strain” marketing campaign that has seen the reimposition of crippling sanctions in Tehran.

The USA underneath Trump additionally assassinated Iranian Common Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike close to Baghdad airport final January, elevating tensions between Washington and Tehran to a feverish level.

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Since President-elect Joe Biden received the November election, the White Home has been attempting to create a wedge between Tehran and Biden’s new workforce, which is looking for to revert to the Iran nuclear deal and carry sanctions.

Along with asserting new sanctions on a constant foundation, Trump has attacked Iran and its allies within the area.

The State Division on Sunday introduced its intention to list the Houthi motion in Yemen, which Washington regards as an Iranian proxy, as a overseas terrorist group.

Biden, who will take workplace on January 20, is predicted to ease tensions with Iran and revive a nuclear deal between Washington and Tehran, which was signed when he was vice chairman in 2015.

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