US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called Iran a "new home base" for Al-Qaeda, a claim quickly dismissed by Iran as a "warmongering" lie.
Pompeo revealed in a speech in Washington on Tuesday that Al-Qaeda's number-two had died in Iran last August. The person is said to have been one of the masterminds of the bombing attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.
Pompeo said Iran has given Al-Qaeda leaders freedom of movement inside Iran, as well as safe havens and logistical support since 2015, when Iran signed a nuclear accord with world powers.
Pompeo said Iran "decided to allow Al-Qaeda to establish a new operational headquarters" in the country, and called the Islamic republic the largest terrorism-sponsoring nation in the world.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif lashed out at Pompeo in a tweet on Tuesday, calling the accusations "warmongering lies," and adding, "No one is fooled."
The administration of President Donald Trump is using its final days to ramp up pressure on Iran. It announced fresh sanctions last week, on the pretext of depriving Tehran of revenues to support foreign terrorist groups.