Iran rejects Pompeo’s ‘preposterous’ AQ allegations

January 13, 2021 - 19:50

TEHRAN - Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman for Iran’s mission to the United Nations, has responded to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's allegations that Iran had links to the al-Qaeda (AQ) terrorist group.

“These preposterous, false accusations are nothing new, and only reinforce the fact that the Trump administration is desperately continuing their failed policy of Iran-bashing,” Miryousefi told Newsweek shortly after Pompeo accused Iran of having ties with al-Qaeda on Tuesday.

In remarks delivered before the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Pompeo claimed that Iran has become a new base for al-Qaeda.

“Al-Qaeda has a new home base: it is the Islamic Republic of Iran. As a result, bin Laden’s wicked creation is poised to gain strength and capabilities. We ignore this Iran-al-Qaeda nexus at our own peril. We need to acknowledge it. We must confront it. Indeed, we must defeat it,” Pompeo claimed without presenting any evidence.

According to the U.S. secretary of state, the U.S. has worked to confront al-Qaeda since the 9/11 attacks. “That effort drove al-Qaeda to search for a safer haven, and they found one. The Islamic Republic of Iran was the perfect choice,” Pompeo claimed. “I would say Iran is, indeed, the new Afghanistan – as the key geographic hub for al-Qaeda – but it’s actually worse.”

However, Pompeo acknowledged that “there’s no evidence Iran helped plan or had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks.”

Miryousefi strongly rejected the Pompeo claims, saying Iran is a bulwark against such organizations, which Tehran has also fought in countries like Iraq and Syria.

“It is a well-known fact that Iran was and is the extremist terror groups' most hated enemy and that the founder of al-Qaeda and many of its followers hail from what is the U.S.' close ally in the Middle East,” the Iranian diplomat said. “Needless to say, U.S. officials have repeatedly acknowledged their role in creating extremist groups in the region, including al-Qaeda.”

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has responded to his American counterpart’s allegations by saying that Pompeo is propagating warmongering allegations.

“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. No one is fooled. All 9/11 terrorists came from @SecPompeo's favorite ME destinations; NONE from Iran,” the chief Iranian diplomat said in a tweet.

Pompeo also published a string of tweets against Iran, repeating the same allegations he made at the National Press Club, a move that elicited a strong response from Saeed Khatibzadeh, the spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry.

Saeed Khatibzadeh said Pompeo’s tweets are the result of his “hysterical anger” at the end of his embarrassing term in office as U.S. secretary of state as well as his anger caused by the failure of Washington’s maximum pressure policy against Iran.

“As martyr Beheshti aptly put it, Mr. Pompeo! Be angry and die of this anger,” he said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Khatibzadeh also put out a statement rejecting Pompeo’s “unfounded claim that Tehran has links to the al-Qaeda terrorist group.”

“Repeating accusations and showing fabricated documents under the name of revealing confidential information by Pompeo, the U.S. secretary of state, in the one week left until the rebellious rule of the Trump regime ends, shows their desperation and the failure of the ‘maximum pressure’ policy against Iran,” the statement said.

Khatibzadeh added, “Resorting to such ploys and threadbare and baseless claims can, by no means, help the terrorist U.S. regime correct its path, which is full of mistakes, and restore the unjustifiable image of the officials of this regime. Earlier, Pompeo had, once again, during the time he was the head of the CIA, and in exchange for petrodollars, sought to establish a fabricated link between Iran and al-Qaeda in order to use chantage and false propaganda to shift responsibility and pressure from U.S. allies, which were the accused in the case of al-Qaeda and support for the September 11 disaster.”

Russia’s Foreign Ministry also issued a statement denouncing Pompeo’s allegations against Iran as “baseless,” according to a Sputnik News report. Washington's claims about Iran becoming a “safe haven” for al-Qaeda are baseless, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Zamir Kabulov said in a statement on Wednesday.

“It seems that Mr. Pompeo, at the end [of Donald Trump’s presidency], wants to do something else to hurt Iran. But this is absolutely unsubstantiated and unreasonable. There is absolutely no information”, Kabulov said when asked if Moscow had any information about Tehran's possible links to al-Qaeda.