The Obama administration said Thursday that Iran is helping al-Qaeda funnel cash and recruits into Pakistan for its international operations, the most serious U.S. allegation to date of Iranian aid to the terrorist group.
Documents filed by the Treasury Department accuse Iran of facilitating an al-Qaeda-run support network that transfers large amounts of cash from Middle East donors to al-Qaeda’s top leadership in Pakistan’s tribal region.
A Syrian national who directs the network has been allowed to operate in Iran since 2005, and senior Iranian officials know about money transfers and allow the movement of al-Qaeda foot soldiers through its territory, administration officials said…
U.S. officials asserted that the alleged network offered new evidence of Iranian support. “By exposing Iran’s secret deal with al-Qaeda, allowing it to funnel funds and operatives through its territory, we are illuminating yet another aspect of Iran’s unmatched support for terrorism,” said David S. Cohen, the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.
In an editorial that gets into some of the background on this issue, The Washington Times praises the administration for a “long overdue move” that “deserves to be applauded.”