Al Qaeda established new home base in Iran, alleges US
Al Qaeda established new home base in Iran, alleges US
Joe Biden on alert: Iran playing 'dangerous game of chicken' as challenge issued to USA
13 January, 2021, 11:25
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday said that Al Qaeda has set up a "home base" in Iran - and Tehran and the perpetrators of the September 11 terror attacks are "partners in terrorism". "Unlike in Afghanistan, when al-Qaida was hiding in the mountains, al-Qaida today is operating under the hard shell of the Iranian regime's protection", he added.
Pompeo said Al Qaeda had centralised its leadership inside Tehran and that deputies of leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri are now there.
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With just eight days left in office for President Donald Trump, Pompeo alleged that Iran has given safe haven to al Qaeda leaders and support for the group, despite some skepticism within the intelligence community and Congress.
Iran has denied the report saying they were no al Qaeda "terrorists" on its soil.
Pompeo claimed the armed group had established Iran as its "operational headquarters" in 2015, when then US President Barack Obama was working to finalise the Iran nuclear deal.
But he announced sanctions on several individuals and a $7 million reward for information on an Al-Qaeda member he said was believed to be in Iran identified both as Muhammad Abbatay or Abd al-Rahman al-Maghrebi. Al-Qaeda has a new home base: "it is the Islamic Republic of Iran".
This comes amid expectations that Pompeo will give a speech accusing Iran of supporting Al Qaeda (recycling the famous Bush-era lie about Saddam an Al-Qaeda to justify the invasion).
Earlier accusations by the George W. Bush administration of Iranian links to al Qaeda's 11 September, 2001, attacks on the United States have been discredited.
Iran, a Shiite clerical state, is ideologically opposed both to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, extreme Sunni movements that are predominantly Arab, and has fought on fronts overseas against both.
The US flew B-52 bombers over the Gulf three times in December, in what the Trump administration called a deterrence measure to keep Iran from retaliations on the anniversary of the US assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.
The Trump administration, whose decision to walk out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2018 has led to a reignition of Iran's nuclear ambitions and rise in Iran-U.S. tensions, reacted to this development according to predictable lines.
Under the 2015 deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear work in return for relief from US and other sanctions.
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