Secretary of State on Monday accused Iran of having secret ties with the al-Qaida network and imposed new sanctions on several senior Iranian officials. (Jan. 12)
MIKE POMPEO: More than 200 people, including 12 Americans, lost their lives in those attacks. "The New York Times" reported in November that al-Masri was shot to death on the streets of Tehran. Today, I can confirm for the first time his death on August 7 of last year.
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. We ignore this Iran al-Qaeda nexus at our own peril.
Indeed, everything changed in 2015, the same year that the Obama administration and the E3, France, Germany, and Britain, were in the middle of finalizing the JCPOA. A sea change was happening within the Iran-al-Qaeda axis. Since 2015, Iran has also given al-Qaeda leaders greater freedom of movement inside of Iran under their supervision.
The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security and the IRGC have provided safe havens and logistical support, things like travel documents, ID cards, passports, that enable al-Qaeda activity. Tehran has allowed al-Qaeda to fund-raise, to freely communicate with al-Qaeda members around the world, and to perform many other functions that were previously directed from Afghanistan or Pakistan. al-Qaeda now has time.
Because they're inside of Iran, they have access to money. They have a range of Iranian support. They now have new tools for terror.