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12 Jan, 2021 17:37

‘Warmongering lies’: Tehran hits back after Pompeo claims Al-Qaeda terrorists set up new base in Iran

‘Warmongering lies’: Tehran hits back after Pompeo claims Al-Qaeda terrorists set up new base in Iran

America’s “declassifications” of information about Iran are “fictitious,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has tweeted. It followed US State Secretary Mike Pompeo accusing Iran, without proof, of harboring Al-Qaeda’s base.

“Mr. ‘we lie, cheat, steal’ is pathetically ending his disastrous career with more warmongering lies,” Zarif wrote in a fiery message in the wake of Pompeo’s statement, referring to the US State Secretary by his infamous 2019 quote.

Back in April 2019, Pompeo, a former CIA director, jokingly said that, during his time at the helm of US intelligence, “we lied, we cheated, we stole” and even had “training courses” in these fields. Many commenters did not find the quote funny.

Zarif denounced the Iran “declassifications” and the claims Pompeo made about its links to Al-Qaeda, calling them “fictitious.” He also condemned the US’ decision to re-include Cuba in the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

The minister noted that the perpetrators of the 9/11 attack orchestrated by Al-Qaeda came from Pompeo’s “favorite Middle Eastern destinations; none from Iran.” Of the 19 plane hijackers involved in the 9/11 attack, 15 were citizens of Saudi Arabia, with the rest coming from UAE, Lebanon, and Egypt.

His response on Twitter came as Pompeo claimed it was the US’ relentless pursuit that forced Al-Qaeda into a “safer haven” – supposedly Iran. The Secretary of State added that some Al-Qaeda operatives have had decades-long connections within the Islamic Republic, although he did not provide any evidence to substantiate any of his claims.

Also on rt.com Pompeo claims Al-Qaeda has new home base in Iran, but doesn’t provide evidence

Relations between Washington and Tehran have been particularly strained ever since President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, accusing Iran of secretly violating it. The US then went on to reimpose sanctions against Iran, followed by some additional restrictions, as part of its “maximum pressure” campaign.

Iran repeatedly insisted it had followed the deal – something that was confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency at the time. Eventually, Tehran responded to increasing US pressure by gradually reducing its commitments under the accord.

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