Mike Pompeo claims Iran is new home of al-Qaida | DW

In October 2017 when serving as CIA director Pompeo accused Iran of working with al-Qaeda

In October 2017 when serving as CIA director Pompeo accused Iran of working with al-Qaeda

"We now have the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism, the Islamic Republic of Iran, as the home base for al-Qaeda", Pompeo stated.

"Al-Qaeda has a new home base, it is the Islamic Republic of Iran", Pompeo said at the National Press Club in Washington DC.

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has taken to Twitter to berate the USA secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, after reports emerged that the top American diplomat has accused Tehran of having links with al-Qaeda.

A statement from a coalition of progressive Jewish groups rejecting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism because.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has dismissed the accusations as "warmongering lies".

United States intelligence experts have said Iranian territory provides a relatively safe haven from the USA military, and al-Qaida's presence there comes in exchange for guarantees that the extremists will not target Iranian interests. Iran denied the report, saying there were no al-Qaeda "terrorists" on its soil.

Pompeo offered $7 million for information helping find al-Qaeda's leader, Muhammad Abbatay.

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The Trump administration's top diplomat accused Iran of providing a safe haven to hundreds of members of the armed group, with al-Qaeda centralising its leadership inside the country.

The nuclear deal has come close to collapse since the withdrawal of the United States, which under Trump has adopted a hardline policy of "maximum pressure" against Iran, reimposing crushing USA sanctions that have devastated the Iranian economy.

Pompeo added that he was imposing sanctions on Iran-based al-Qaeda leaders and three leaders of al-Qaeda Kurdish battalions.

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.

Iran has been a primary target of the Trump administration over the past few years, with the president walking away from the Iran nuclear deal with world powers in 2018 and embarking on a "maximum pressure" campaign that saw the reimposition of crippling sanctions on Tehran.

"You don't have to be a former Central Intelligence Agency director to see the Iran-Al Qaeda axis as a massive force for evil all over the world", he said.

Under the 2015 deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear work in return for relief from USA and other sanctions.

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