You are here: Home » International » News » Politics
Business Standard

Pompeo says Iran sheltering al-Qaeda; confirms death of group's 2nd-in-line

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo accused Iran of sheltering al-Qaeda asserting that the middle eastern country has become a new "home base" for the terror outfit

Mike Pompeo | US Iran tensions | Al-Qaeda

ANI  |  US 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, arrives at the airport in New Delhi
Mike Pompeo

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Tuesday (local time) accused Iran of sheltering asserting that the middle eastern country has become a new "home base" for the terror outfit. He also confirmed that Al-Qaeda's second-in-command Abu Muhammad al-Masri was killed in Tehran last year.

In a speech at the National Press Club here, Pompeo said that has a "new home base - it is the Islamic Republic of Iran".

He said, "We ignored this Iran-nexus at our own peril. We need to acknowledge it, we must confront it, indeed, we must defeat it."

He further said, "They are partners in terrorism, partners in hate. This axis poses a grave threat to the security of nations and to the American homeland itself."

"I would say Iran is, indeed, the new Afghanistan - as the key geographic hub for al-Qaeda - but it's actually worse...Unlike in Afghanistan, when al-Qaeda was hiding in the mountains, al-Qaida today is operating underneath the hard shell of the Iranian regime's protection," he added.

During the briefing, he announced sanctions on Iran-based al-Qaida leaders Sultan Yusuf Hasan al-Arif and Muhammad Abbatay, also known as Abd al-Rahman al-Maghrebi.

He offered a reward of up to USD 7 million for information that leads to the location or identification of al-Maghrebi.

The Secretary also confirmed media reports of al-Masri in Tehran on August 7 last year.

He further said that Iran became the "perfect choice" for al-Qaeda after 9/11.

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

He quoted a letter from late al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, found by the Navy SEALS during the Abbottabad raid, as saying, "Iran is our main artery for funds, personnel, and communication...There is no need to fight with Iran unless you are forced to".

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Pompeo "is pathetically ending his disastrous career with more warmongering lies".

"No one is fooled," Zarif wrote, noting that hijackers from the September 11, 2001 attacks came from Pompeo's "favourite" countries rather than Iran. Fifteen of the 19 assailants were Saudis.

"From designating Cuba to fictitious Iran "declassifications" and AQ claims, Mr. "we lie, cheat, steal" is pathetically ending his disastrous career with more warmongering lies, Zarif posted on Twitter.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Wed, January 13 2021. 07:01 IST