Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, January 15th, 2021

Pompeo, in Tuesday speech, to accuse Iran of al Qaeda links: sources

Pompeo, in Tuesday speech, to accuse Iran of al Qaeda links: sources

WASHINGTON- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to use newly declassified U.S. intelligence on Tuesday to publicly accuse Iran of ties to al Qaeda, two people familiar with the matter said, as part of his last-minute offensive against Tehran before handing over to the incoming Biden administration.
With just eight days left in office for President Donald Trump, Pompeo is expected to offer details on allegations that Iran has given safe haven to al Qaeda leaders and support for the group, the sources said, despite some skepticism within the intelligence community and Congress.
It was not immediately clear how much Pompeo intends to reveal in his speech to the National Press Club in Washington on Tuesday. He could cite declassified information on the killing of al Qaeda’s suspected second-in-command in Tehran in August, said the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The New York Times reported in November that Abu Muhammad al-Masri, accused of helping to mastermind the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa, was gunned down by Israeli operatives in Iran. Iran denied the report, saying there were no al Qaeda “terrorists” on its soil.
Iran has been a target throughout the Trump administration and Pompeo has sought to further ratchet up pressure on Iran in recent weeks with more sanctions and heated rhetoric.
Advisers to President-elect Joe Biden believe the Trump administration is trying to make it harder for him to re-engage with Iran and seek to rejoin an international deal on Iran’s nuclear program. (Reuters)