Officials Reject Pompeo’s Claim Iran Is Working With al-Qaeda

Pompeo's claim 'not supported by any available information'

In testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that “there is no doubt there is a connection between the Islamic Republic of Iran and al-Qaeda. Period. Full stop.”

If the connection was that al-Qaeda has been fighting against Iran, and vice versa, for decades he might have a point. That’s clearly not Pompeo’s intention, however, and other officials are noting that he’s wrong.

Pentagon and State Department officials say Pompeo’s comments were “way out of proportion,” and that there “is nothing in the intelligence to suggest” that Iran and al-Qaeda are working together in some grand anti-US alliance.

So why is Pompeo lying? It’s because legally what he claims would have been very convenient. The 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Forces (AUMF) authorizes war against groups affiliated with al-Qaeda, and Pompeo is among administration officials talking up war with Iran. Linking them to al-Qaeda, however non-credibly and preposterously, would be a way to allow Trump to circumvent Congress on authorization.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.