US Secretary Mike Pompeo’s statement on Iran

Mohammed Al Shaikh

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I was not surprised by the statement of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding Iran and its responsibility for 9/11 as well as the strategic alliance between al-Qaeda and Iranian terrorits; they are two destructive movements that flow from the same source. What I do find surprising is how President George W. Bush, as well as President Obama, ignored Iran's responsibility for this crime, directing their wrath first against Afghanistan and the Taliban and then against Iraq, deliberately turning a blind eye to Iran throughout the last two decades. Not only that, but they support the mullahs who back al-Qaeda and handed Iraq on a silver platter to Iran.

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Obama then signed the nuclear deal between the P5+1 and Iran, which by all accounts is a weak agreement that serves Iran's interests and only delays, rather than eliminates, Iran's nuclear threat, failing to address Iran's mayhem and terrorist trends in the region. The question arises: Was it just naivete and ignorance on behalf of the parties to the nuclear deal, or was there something more intentional there?

It is true that Pompeo's recent statements about Iran will put Biden in a tough position, and at the same time weaken Iran's stance, which has always insisted that terrorism is a Sunni phenomenon, not a Shia one. It has now become clear that the Sunnis who carry out terrorist operations are allies of Iran, and that Iran's relationship with the takfiris among the Sunnis, headed by bin Laden himself, is a close knit and well-established relationship. Al-Qaeda et. al. play a pivotal role in smearing the image of the Sunnis and aligning their terrorist acts with the interest and agenda of the Shias of Iran. Sunni al-Qaeda members fall into two categories: those engaged in a deliberate conspiracy to undermine the reputation of the Sunnis, or those who are fooled and misguided, never thinking for a minute about the outcome of their actions or who is benefiting from their operations. This is the case for most of the extremist political Sunni groups that came out from under the cloak of the Muslim Brotherhood, in particular the Sururist groups.

Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law Suleiman Abu Gheith was al-Qaeda’s spokesman and lived in a camp in Iran until he was forced to flee the country. (Photo courtesy www.aawsat.com)
Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law Suleiman Abu Gheith was al-Qaeda’s spokesman and lived in a camp in Iran until he was forced to flee the country. (Photo courtesy www.aawsat.com)

Pompeo also said that al-Qaeda is launching from Iran to carry out terrorist operations around the world, and the US Treasury Department revealed that it has detected an al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group operating on the border between Iraq and Iran. The need to fight terrorism has become a given on the global scene, and Pompeo's information is backed by traditional American institutions, not his personal conclusions. Can Biden, after the announcement of these facts, risk repeating Obama’s mistake by submitting to Iran and reviving the Obama-era nuclear deal without including any new conditions?

I don't think this will be the case, especially since Iran's dire economic situation compels it to accept any new concessions that reduce its threat to the region, while at the same time pushing it to evolve from a revolutionary nation towards a stable state.

And as I see it, the US and its European allies - if they so desire - could strike a deal with Iran that is more advantageous and equitable for the countries of the region than Obama’s blatantly biased deal.

This article was originally published in, and translated from, Saudi Arabian outlet al-Jazirah.

Read more:

Biden, the Gulf, and Iran

Biden and US Policy in the Middle East

Iran and al-Qaeda: Covert cooperation veiled by apparent animosity

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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