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Iran still an Al-Qaeda sanctuary, claims Pompeo

Iran still an Al-Qaeda sanctuary, claims Pompeo

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May 22, 2018 - 09:35

WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday alleged Iran has been a sanctuary for Al-Qaeda since the 9/11 attacks.

“For years, Iran has been the number one state sponsor of terror. Iran … remains unwilling to bring to justice senior Al-Qaeda members residing in the country,” Pompeo said.

In a major policy speech, he said: “We ask the Iranian people: Is this what you want your country to be known for? Being a co-conspirator with Hizbollah, Hamas, the Talibaninfo-icon, and al-Qaeda?

“The United States says you deserve better,” he said as he made a dozen demands on Tehran, including an end to its nuclear weapons and missile programme.

Iran must end support to the Taliban and other terrorists in Afghanistaninfo-icon and the region, and cease harbouring Al-Qaeda,” the secretary of state stressed.

In Afghanistan, Iran’s support to the Taliban in the form of weapons and funding led to further violence and hindered peace and stability, Pompeo claimed.

America’s new Iranian policy comes after President Donald Trump announced withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal. The move has resulted in the revival of sanctions against Iran.

The sting of sanctions will grow more painful if the regime does not change course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen for itself and the people of Iran.

“These will be the strongest sanctions in history by the time we are done,” he said. “The regime has been fighting all over the Middle East for years. After our sanctions come into full force, it will be battling to keep its economy alive.

“Iran will be forced to make a choice: either fight to keep its economy off life support at home or keep squandering precious wealth on fights abroad. It will not have the resources to do both,” Pompeo said.

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