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Iran: Pompeo’s claims of al-Qaeda ties preposterous, shows failure of pressure policy

Iran says US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s latest “preposterous” accusations against the Islamic Republic are part of the Trump administration’s “failed policy of Iran-bashing” and show the lame-duck diplomat’s “hysterical” anger at his failure.

Alireza Miryousefi, a spokesperson for the Iranian permanent mission to the United Nations, told Newsweek that Pompeo’s claims about Tehran’s links to al-Qaeda terrorist group were part of last-ditch attempts by President Donald Trump’s administration to further vilify the Islamic Republic before a transition of power.

“These preposterous, false accusations are nothing new, and only reinforce the fact that the Trump administration is desperately continuing their failed policy of Iran-bashing,” Miryousefi said shortly after Pompeo’s rant against Iran on Tuesday.

Pompeo used his last days in office to accuse Iran, without any evidence, of being the al-Qaeda terrorist group’s “new home base,” and said the claims were part of, what he called, publicizing “declassified US intelligence.”

The Iranian Foreign Ministry denounced the accusations as “baseless,” saying the claims show Washington’s frustration and the failure of its so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran.

Miryousefi said Iran was, in fact, a bulwark against such organizations, which Tehran has also fought in countries like Iraq and Syria.

It is the US and its partners who are responsible for the conditions that allowed such groups to thrive in the region, the Iranian diplomat added.

“It is a well-known fact that Iran was and is the extremist terror groups’ most hated enemy and that the founder of al-Qaeda and many of its followers hail from what is the US’ close ally in the Middle East,” Miryousefi said. “Needless to say, US officials have repeatedly acknowledged their role in creating extremist groups in the region, including al-Qaeda.”

Pompeo vents his anger with tweet spree

Shortly after his anti-Iran speech, the US secretary of state further vented his outrage by posting at least 16 anti-Iran tweets, in which he leveled more accusations against the Islamic Republic.

In these tweets, which he posted in less than 10 hours, Pompeo rehashed earlier claims about “advocating for the Iranian people”, but made no mention of the devastating impact of Washington’s “maximum pressure” on ordinary people.

He also alleged that the world is “awakening to the threat posed” by Iran thanks to his State Department’s “clear-eyed and aggressive” diplomacy.

Pompeo also boasted about the impact of sanctions, saying the US has deprived Iran of $70 billion in assets and revenues by blacklisting “1,500 individuals and entities.”

While Pompeo was posting the anti-Iran tweets, the US Treasury imposed even further sanctions on five people it tied to Iran, labeling them each as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).

Iran to Pompeo: Be angry and die of this anger

The Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said Pompeo’s tweets are the result of his “hysterical anger” at the end of his embarrassing term in office as US Secretary of State as well as his anger caused by the failure of Washington’s maximum pressure policy against Iran.

“As martyr Beheshti [former Iranian Judiciary chief] aptly put it, Mr. Pompeo! Be angry and die of this anger,” Saeed Khatibzadeh said.

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