Pompeo says that in 2015, during the finalization of the Iran nuclear deal, “a sea change was happening within the Iran-Al-Qaeda axis.”
Citing “brand new” information, Pompeo says: “Iran decided to allow al-Qaeda to establish a new operational headquarters, on the condition that al-Qaeda abides by the regime’s rules governing al-Qaeda’s stay inside of the country, agency and control.”
Iran also gives al-Qaeda leaders “greater freedom of movement” under their supervision.
Pompeo says an Iranian ministry and the Revolutionary Guards gave travel documents and ID cards “that enabled al-Qaeda activity.”
He says al-Qaeda “has centralized its leadership” in Iran.
“Tehran has allowed al-Qaeda to fundraise, to freely communicate with al-Qaeda members around the world, and to perform many other functions” previously directed from other countries.
Iran and al-Qaeda are now “partners in terrorism, partners in hate,” says Pompeo.
“Iran is indeed the new Afghanistan,” he says, adding that it’s “actually worse” since the US has less intelligence and fewer options to attack them.
Pompeo also says the Iran-al-Qaeda axis “threatens the progress of the Abraham Accords as well.”
“If al-Qaeda can use terror attacks in the region to blackmail nations from joining the warm peace with Israel, then we risk grinding generational momentum for peace in the Middle East to a halt.”