U.S. State Department Concludes Iran Is Harboring Al-Qaeda

(New York, N.Y.) — Last Thursday, the U.S. Department of State released its annual Country Reports on Terrorism, which accused the Iranian regime of allowing senior Al-Qaeda leaders to live and run terror operations from within Iran’s borders. The U.S. admission of a secretive alliance between the Iranian regime and Al-Qaeda adds credence to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s assertions that Tehran has “enormous control” over Al-Qaeda, which enjoys a “home base” in Iran.

Speaking to reporters last week, U.S. Acting Coordinator for Counterterrorism John Godfrey noted that, “The fact that [the Iranian regime] have enabled that leadership cadre to safely reside in Iran is a reflection of their use of terrorism as an adjunct of their foreign policy goals.” 

Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism and is one of just four countries designated as such by the State Department. Iran, which began covert coordination with Al-Qaeda in the early 1990s, has accelerated its support for terrorism in the years after it signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The regime’s ties to Al-Qaeda continued after the group moved its operations from Sudan to Afghanistan, and even manifested itself on Iranian soil before, during, and after the September 11 attacks. 

Iran (Shia) and Al-Qaeda (Sunni) seem like unlikely bedfellows given the Shia-Sunni divide that often exists in Islamic society. This divide, however, has not precluded cooperation in certain conditions, as the two have found "common cause in their mutual hatred of America; both can see the virtue in having more anti-U.S. violence, whatever the source." 

To read United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI)’s resource Al-Qaeda and Iran: Alliance Against the US, please click here.