Pompeo says Al Qaeda’s ‘new home base’ is Iran with no evidence

Pompeo says Al Qaeda’s ‘new home base’ is Iran with no evidence

Pompeo acknowledged that late Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden himself "considered Al-Qaeda members inside the Islamic Republic of Iran to be hostages" and that there was no evidence Iran backed the September 11, 2001 attacks, mostly carried out by Saudi nationals.

Outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo alleged Tuesday that arch-enemy Iran has become a new "home base" for Al-Qaeda, surpassing Afghanistan or Pakistan, an assertion mocked by Tehran and questioned by experts.

A statement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on January 9 noted: "Iran's threat goes much further than violating the JCPOA".

Last November, Iran denied a report that al-Qaeda's second-in-command, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, had been shot dead in Tehran in the summer by Israeli agents, following a request from the US.

"Iran made a decision to allow Al Qaeda to establish a new operational headquarters, on the condition that Al Qaeda operatives inside abide by the regime's rules governing Al Qaeda's stay inside the country", he said.

"Al-Masri's presence inside Iran points to the reason that we're here today".

"You now have the word's largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, the Islamic Republic of Iran, as the home base for Al Qaeda", he said in a speech at the National Press Club.

He also announced a reward of up to US$7 million (S$9.3 million) under for information leading to location or identification of Iran based Al-Qaeda leader Muhammad Abbatay - also known as Abd al-Rahman al-Maghrebi.

Also, Iran will seek trade relations with US antagonists China, Russia, and Venezuela, per the reports.

In October 2017, when serving as Central Intelligence Agency director, Pompeo said that "there have been times the Iranians have worked alongside al-Qaeda".

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.

Since then the Trump administration has pursued an "maximum pressure" sanctions campaign against Tehran.

Al-Masri is alleged to be the mastermind behind the 1998 bombings of two USA embassies in Africa.

Shi'ite Iran and Al-Qaeda, a Sunni Muslim group, have always been sectarian foes.

Shi'ite Iran and al Qaeda, a Sunni Muslim group, have always been sectarian foes. The accord includes the option of a snapback of United Nations sanctions if Iran breaches the deal, requiring Tehran to suspend all nuclear enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research development.

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