FM rejects US claims that Iran is the ‘new Qaeda home base’
January 13 2021 12:26 AM
CANDID: Javad Zarif
CANDID: Javad Zarif

AFP /Tehran

Iran’s Foreign Minister yesterday dismissed allegations by his US counterpart that the Islamic republic had become the new “home base” for Al Qaeda.
“No one is fooled,” Mohamed Javad Zarif tweeted after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s comments.
“All 9/11 terrorists came from @SecPompeo’s favorite (Middle East) destinations,” he added. “NONE from Iran.”
“From designating Cuba (as a state sponsor of terror) to fictitious Iran ‘declassifications’ and (Al-Qaeda) claims, Mr. ‘we lie, cheat, steal’ is pathetically ending his disastrous career with more warmongering lies,” said Zarif.
He was referring to Pompeo’s 2019 comments about his experience at the head of the US Central Intelligence Agency, in which he said: “We lied, we cheated, we stole.”
The secretary of state said in a speech yesterday, a week before leaving office, that “Al-Qaeda has a new home base. It is the Islamic Republic of Iran”.
“I would say Iran is indeed the new Afghanistan — as the key geographic hub for Al-Qaeda — but it’s actually worse,” he added.
“Unlike in Afghanistan, when Al-Qaeda was hiding in the mountains, Al-Qaeda today is operating under the hard shell of the Iranian regime’s protection.”
Washington has on several occasions accused the Islamic republic of having sheltered members of Osama bin Laden’s network.
Tehran has always denied any link with the jihadist group.

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