US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that al-Qaeda has a new home base in Iran without offering any substantial evidence to back his claims. In response, Tehran categorically denied the accusation. Pompeo further added that the terrorist organization had centralized its leadership in the country.
The secretary of state stated that the ties between the Iranian regime and the banned outfit improved after 2015, when the former President Obama, along with Germany, France, and Britain, were finalizing the Iran Nuclear Deal that paved the way for limiting Iran’s nuclear ambitions in return for lifting financial sanction in the Tehran-regime.
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But on the other hand, experts have maintained that the Shia-dominated Iran and Sunni-dominated al-Qaeda have long been seen as regional foes, and many are viewing the reports of coordination between the two with skepticism. On Tuesday, Trump’s outgoing Secretary of State called on the international players to pressurize Iran but stopped short of calling for military action.
In response, Jawad Zarif, the Iranian Foreign Minister, took to Twitter and called Washington’s move as “warmongering”. A law passed in 2001 called Authorization of Use of Military Force (AUMF), allows the White House to chase al-Qaeda anywhere in the world. But following the assassination of Iran’s top military commander, Qassim Soleimani, requiring the White House to get Congressional approval before any military action against Tehran. But Trump vetoed it in May.
In December, the US bombers flew the gulf as many as three times, in what the outgoing administration called the deterrence step to keep Iran in check from any retaliation on Soleimani’s assassination anniversary. But many experts have stated that the flurry of foreign policy decisions could hamper the incoming president’s efforts to rejoin the historic Nuclear deal.
Besides, Mike Pompeo also claimed the mastermind of the attacks on the US embassies in Africa, Abu Muhammad al-Masri, was also killed in Iran in August. A claim that was immediately rejected by the Iranian foreign ministry.
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