‘Partners In Hate’: Pompeo Says Iran Is New ‘Home Base’ Of Al-Qaida

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Varun Hukeri General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asserted during a Tuesday speech that Iran has been actively supporting al-Qaida and serves as a new “home base” for the terrorist group.

“You now have the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, the Islamic Republic of Iran, as the home base for al-Qaida,” Pompeo said in his remarks at the National Press Club. “They are partners in terrorism, partners in hate.” The secretary also stated that the Iranian government was supporting al-Qaida with logistical support and providing refuge to terrorists.


Pompeo did not cite specific U.S. intelligence reporting but his remarks suggest that the relationship between Iran and al-Qaida goes far deeper than what has previously been reported, according to NBC News.

Relations between the Shiite-ruled Iranian government and the Sunni terrorist group have typically been described as complicated and often tense.

There have long been reports of ties between Iran and al-Qaida although the extent of that relationship has typically been unclear. The allegation that Iran maintains ties to the terrorist group was even mentioned by the 9/11 Commission after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks perpetrated by al-Qaida.

The Obama administration also accused Iran of sending the terrorist group money and recruits for its operations in Pakistan, according to The Wall Street Journal. (RELATED: United States Sanctions 17 Metal Companies For Funding Iran’s Nuclear Programs And Terror Networks)

Pompeo acknowledged during his remarks that ties between Iran and al-Qaida are not new but said the relationship has grown substantially since the Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2015.

“Everything changed in 2015 — the same year that the Obama administration and the E3 — France, Germany, and Britain — were finalizing the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action],” Pompeo said.

Iran has repeatedly denied allegations that the country provides support to al-Qaida, according to Reuters. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denounced Pompeo’s remarks in a tweet Tuesday.

“No one is fooled. All 9/11 terrorists came from [Pompeo’s] favorite [Middle East] destinations; NONE from Iran,” he tweeted.

15 of the 19 hijackers during the 2001 terrorist attacks were from Saudi Arabia, and former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was himself a Saudi citizen, according to The New York Times.

Pompeo issued a separate statement Tuesday identifying a number of al-Qaida leaders in Iran. He also announced they would be classified as Specially Designated Global Terrorists and offered a $7 million reward for information about Abd-al-Rahman al-Maghrebi, a key al-Qaida leader reportedly operating in Iran.