Addressing the National Press Club in Washington, Pompeo said al-Qaeda had made Tehran the center of its activities and that several of Ayman al-Zawahiri's deputies were in the Iranian capital.
Pompeo said relations between Iran and al-Qaeda have been improving since 2015, when it was negotiating a nuclear deal with the United States and other Western powers. Since then, Iran has become the new Afghanistan, and in the case of al-Qaeda's headquarters, it will be even worse, because in Afghanistan, al-Qaeda used to operate in the mountains and deserts, but here it will have the umbrella of the Iranian government.
Foreign Secretary Mike Pompeo, who is stepping down by next week, said the world needed to step up its pressure on Tehran, but warned against any military action. It should be noted that the US Secretary of State has not yet provided any evidence regarding his allegations and claims.
Iran has called the US Secretary of State's statement a lie. Iranian Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif said in a tweet that the US Secretary of defense was ending his "devastating term" in a provocative lie with claims ranging from Cuba to Iran to "revealing secrets" and al-Qaeda.
Observers say Pompeo's statement is intended to send a different message. In fact, under the AUMF law passed in the United States in 2001, in the event of the presence of al-Qaeda, the US military was given the authority to operate inside any country in the world.
Observers say Pompeo's statement about al-Qaeda's presence in Iran is in fact an indirect threat to war, but with one week to go before President Trump's term expires, such statements will not go far enough to create a temporary turmoil. However, if the Trump administration had provided evidence in this regard, the difficulties of the Biden administration could have been exacerbated, like Biden, like his predecessor, Obama, is inclined to discuss the nuclear dispute with Iran.