UNITED NATIONS (Dispatches) -- Iran has repulsed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s "preposterous” allegations that the Islamic Republic had links to takfiri terrorist group Al-Qaeda, branding the accusations as part of a last-ditch effort by President Donald Trump’s administration to vilify Tehran 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,” Iranian permanent mission to the United Nations spokesperson Alireza Miryousefi told Newsweek shortly after Pompeo’s speech 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”.
Miryousefi said Iran is, in fact, a bulwark against such organizations, which Tehran has also fought in countries like Iraq and Syria.
It is the U.S. 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 U.S.’ 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.”
Shortly after his anti-Iran speech, the U.S. 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 U.S. had 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 U.S. Treasury imposed even further sanctions on five people it tied to Iran, labeling them each as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).
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 martyr Beheshti [former Iranian Judiciary chief] aptly put it, Mr. Pompeo, be angry and die of this anger,” Saeed Khatibzadeh said.
Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif called Obama"Mr. ‘we lie, cheat, steal,’” who was "pathetically ending his disastrous career with more warmongering lies.”
The Iranian official went on to say, "No one is fooled. All 9/11 terrorists came from @SecPompeo’s favorite ME destinations; NONE from Iran.”
Zarif was referring to Saudi Arabia and its widely-known financial and ideological sponsorship of the terrorist outfit, which was created by Saudi citizen Osama bin Laden in 1980.
Russia also dismissed the accusation. "This is absolutely unsubstantiated and unreasonable. There is absolutely no information” supporting such a claim, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zamir Kabulov said in a statement on Wednesday.
"It seems that Mr. Pompeo, at the end, wants to do something else to hurt Iran.”