In remarks entitled “The Iran-al-Qaeda Axis”, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that “for al-Qaeda, Iran is the new home base. Tehran gives sanctuary to the terror group’s senior leaders as they plan attacks against America and our allies”. He also confirmed earlier media reports regarding the killing of a senior al-Qaeda official in Tehran in August 2020. Pompeo further announced sanctions against two al-Qaeda leaders whom he described as Iran-based, and three “leaders of the al-Qaeda Kurdish Battalions (AQKB), an al-Qaeda-linked group that operates on the border between Iran and Iraq”. Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, dismissed Pompeo’s remarks as “warmongering lies”.
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