US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo alleged Tuesday that arch-enemy Iran has turn into a brand new “house base” for Al-Qaeda worse than Afghanistan, an assertion questioned by consultants.
In a speech every week earlier than leaving workplace, Pompeo confirmed a New York Occasions report that Al-Qaeda’s second-in-command was killed final yr in Tehran, though he didn’t say that Israel carried it out.
“Al-Qaeda has a brand new house base. It’s the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Pompeo stated in a speech on the Nationwide Press Membership.
“I’d say Iran is certainly the brand new Afghanistan — as the important thing geographic hub for Al-Qaeda — however it’s truly worse. In contrast to in Afghanistan, when Al-Qaeda was hiding within the mountains, Al-Qaeda right now is working below the exhausting shell of the Iranian regime’s safety.”
He urged extra worldwide stress, calling the alleged alliance a “large pressure for evil all around the world.”
President Donald Trump’s hawkish prime diplomat stopped quick of urging navy motion, saying: “If we did have that choice, if we selected to do this, there is a a lot better threat in executing it.”
However he introduced sanctions on a number of people and a $7 million reward for info on an Al-Qaeda member he stated was believed to be in Iran recognized each as Muhammad Abbatay or Abd al-Rahman al-Maghrebi.
Iran, a Shiite clerical state, is ideologically opposed each to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, excessive Sunni actions which are predominantly Arab, and has fought on fronts overseas towards each.
Many consultants imagine that Tehran has allowed Al-Qaeda operatives to make use of its territory — comparatively secure from the US navy — to offer ensures that the extremists won’t goal Iran.
Pompeo acknowledged that late Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden himself “thought of Al-Qaeda members contained in the Islamic Republic of Iran to be hostages” and that there was no proof Iran backed the September 11, 2001 assaults, largely carried out by Saudi nationals.
However Pompeo, a former CIA chief, stated that Iran lately has permitted Al-Qaeda better freedom of motion together with issuing journey paperwork, and that the group has “centralized management” in Tehran.
“Tehran has allowed Al-Qaeda to fund-raise, to freely talk with different Al-Qaeda members around the globe and carry out many different features that had been beforehand directed from Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Pompeo stated.
Pompeo has championed a tough line on Iran together with sweeping sanctions which have ravaged its financial system.
President-elect Joe Biden is predicted to hunt a return to diplomacy and has tapped Invoice Burns, a broadly revered former diplomat who has led secret negotiations with Iran, as CIA chief.
(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)