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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL - By JAY SOLOMON WASHINGTON—The U.S. for the first time formally accused Iran of forging an agreement with al Qaeda, helping operatives move money, arms and fighters through Iranian territory to the terrorist group's bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The U.S. Treasury Department outlined on Thursday what it said was an extensive fund-raising operation devised by al Qaeda that utilizes Iran-based operatives and draws from donors in oil-rich Persian Gulf countries such as Kuwait and Qatar.
The Treasury said it had sanctioned six al Qaeda members for allegedly overseeing this network. The network's head, Syrian-national Ezedin Abdul Aziz Khalil, is based in Iran and has been operating there under an agreement with Iranian authorities since 2005, according to senior U.S. officials.
"Khalil moves money and recruits from across the Middle East into Iran, then on to Pakistan for the benefit of al Qaeda's senior leaders," the U.S. Treasury Department said in a written statement.
U.S. officials alleged Mr. Khalil requires all operatives transiting through Iran to deliver the equivalent of $10,000 to al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan. The officials also said that Mr. Khalil has worked closely with Iranian authorities to secure the release of al Qaeda militants held in Iranian prisons who are then returned to Pakistan-based camps.
"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," David Cohen, the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said on Thursday.
Officials at the Iranian mission in New York were unavailable to comment early Thursday. Tehran in the past has denied any support for al Qaeda or the Taliban and has said it has worked to arrest al Qaeda fighters fleeing into its territory.
For original U.S. Treasury Department document click here
Islamic Fundamentalism and Iran
Islamic Fundamentalism, which may manifest itself on the streets of France or Yemen and Syria, and its victims may be diverse, but it is a single issue confronting the globe. It may appear random or unplanned but it is in fact shrewdly promoted and sustained by a regime, which relies on the phenomenon for its very survival.