0518 GMT October 14, 2019
The American government has dramatically overstated ties between Tehran and the terror group, senior officials said during classified briefings on Tuesday, according to two US news outlets, The Independent reported.
The assessment directly contradicts public statements by the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and would undermine any legal case for going to war with Iran if tensions between Washington and Tehran continue to escalate.
Pompeo told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last month: “There is no doubt there is a connection between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Al-Qaeda.
“The factual question with respect to Iran’s connections to Al-Qaeda is very real. They have hosted Al-Qaeda. They have permitted Al-Qaeda to transit their country.”
But an official who briefed dozens of members of Republican and Democrat representatives on Tuesday said the US government had no evidence of operational coordination between the Iranian government and the terrorist group, according The Daily Beast, which cited three unnamed sources at the meeting.
US intelligence officials also told Time that Pompeo’s claims had been overstated.