WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday accused Iran and al Qaeda of forming a secret alliance and becoming “partners in terrorism” in a speech that could derail President-elect Joe Biden’s plans to re-engage with Tehran.
Revealing newly unclassified intelligence, Pompeo said the Iranian regime was providing logistical support to the extremist group and had become their new base — allowing al Qaeda to focus on new terror attacks and posing “a grave threat” to US security.
“Al Qaeda has a new home base. It is the Islamic Republic of Iran. As a result, bin Laden’s wicked creation is poised to gain strength and capabilities,” Pompeo said at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, referring to the late terror mastermind Osama bin Laden, one of the group’s founders.
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“We ignore this Iran-al Qaeda nexus at our own peril. We need to acknowledge it. We must confront it. We must defeat it,” he went on.