Pompeo claims Al-Qaeda has new home base in Iran, doesn’t provide evidence

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has claimed, without providing any hard evidence, that the Islamic terrorist organization Al-Qaeda has established a new base in Iran.

“We must acknowledge it, we must confront it… we must defeat it,” Pompeo said during a press event on Tuesday, organized for making the bold announcement.

“We ignore this Iran-Al-Qaeda nexus at our own peril,” he added.

Pompeo acknowledged that to many Americans the alleged development may come as a “surprise,” since the US military and foreign intelligence have been on the offence against the group since the September 11 terror attacks in 2001. However, according to the official, it was this relentless US pursuit that drove Al-Qaeda into a “safer heaven,” namely the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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The state secretary called Iran the “perfect choice” for the terrorists’ supposed new hideout, adding that some Al-Qaeda operatives have had decades-long connections inside the country.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif responded to Pompeo’s “fictitious” claims by accusing him of issuing “warmongering lies”.

The department head also announced the killing of Al-Qaeda’s “second in command,” Abu Muhammad al-Masri, on August 7 last year at the behest of the US government. Muhammad al-Masri being in Iran at the time of his death appears to be the main basis of the State Department’s assertion about a connection between the group and Iran.

Pompeo called for an end to diplomatic “appeasement” of the Iran government, and announced sanctions on several “Iran-based al-Qaeda leaders,” as well as a $7 million reward for information on one of the extremists.

During his tenure in Trump’s administration, former CIA chief Pompeo has pushed a hard line on Iran, including a sweeping sanctions policy that has ravaged its economy.

President-elect Joe Biden is widely expected to hail the return of a more diplomatic approach to US-Iranian relations, having been part of the Obama administration which brokered the Iran nuclear deal in 2015. Trump pulled the US out of that agreement in 2018.

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Source:RT World News

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