Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a tweet, has warned against the Joe Biden administration plan to return to Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and lifting the sanctions on Iran.
He wrote: Don’t forget — when President Biden re-enters the flawed nuclear deal, he not only will pave the way for Iran to build its nuclear program. He’ll also be allowing hundreds of billions of dollars to go to the very mullahs who host & support Al-Qaeda in Tehran.
He continued in another tweet: Almost 20 years ago Al-Qaeda killed 3000 people in America. Now the regime that protects it gets American money.
In an interview that aired Friday on VOA Persian’s TV channel, the former top U.S. diplomat, who left office in January, made more detailed allegations about Iran’s secretive relationship with al-Qaida and warned against lifting the sanctions on Iran.
The ex-CIA director said Iran’s Islamist rulers have allowed al-Qaida’s most senior operational leaders to stay in the country on two conditions; “(First), you’ll do what we tell you to do. And second, you won’t conduct operations against Iranian assets or inside of Iran.”
The remarks were an expansion on details about the Iran-al-Qaida relationship in a January 12 speech, in which he stated that since 2015, Iran’s top security institutions had allowed al-Qaida leaders “greater freedom of movement” in the country under Iranian supervision. He said Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps also provided logistical support in the form of travel documents, ID cards and passports to “enable al-Qaida activity,” including fundraising and global communication.
President Biden’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) released a Worldwide Threat Assessment on April 26 saying counterterrorism operations by the U.S. and its allies “eliminated parts of al-Qaida’s senior leadership” in the preceding year. The report also said al-Qaida’s “overall emir Ayman al-Zawahiri remains in hiding, while a handful of Iran-based al-Qaida leaders oversee al-Qaida’s network.”
The DIA report was the first by the U.S. intelligence community in recent years to publicly disclose that al-Qaida’s Iran-based leaders have a powerful role in the global terror network, although it did not say whether those leaders have become stronger or weaker.