Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed accusations by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as “warmongering lies” that Iran is the new home base for al-Qaeda terrorist group.
“[Abu Muhammad] al-Masri’s presence inside Iran points to the reason that we’re here today... al-Qaeda has a new home base: it is... Iran,” Pompeo said in remarks delivered at the National Press Club in Washington on Tuesday.
Pompeo “is pathetically ending his disastrous career with more warmongering lies,” Zarif said on Twitter, adding that no September 11 attackers came from Iran.
From designating Cuba to fictitious Iran "declassifications” and AQ claims, Mr. “we lie, cheat, steal" is pathetically ending his disastrous career with more warmongering lies.— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 12, 2021
No one is fooled. All 9/11 terrorists came from @SecPompeo's favorite ME destinations; NONE from Iran.
The New York Times reported in November that al-Masri, al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, was assassinated along with his daughter by Israeli operatives in the Iranian capital Tehran “at the behest of the US. Iran denied the report, saying there were no al-Qaeda “terrorists” on its soil.
Al-Masri was accused of helping to mastermind the 1998 bombings of two US embassies in Africa.
“Tehran gives sanctuary to the terror group’s senior leaders as they plan attacks against America and our allies. Indeed, since 2015, Tehran has allowed al-Qaeda figures in the country to freely communicate with other al-Qaeda members and perform many functions that were previously directed from Afghanistan and Pakistan, including authorization for attacks, propaganda, and fundraising,” Pompeo said.
Tensions between Iran and the US have escalated since outgoing US President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and reimposed crippling sanctions on the country in 2018 as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign.