Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed Iran has “enormous control” over al-Qaeda in an interview with Voice of America’s Siamak Dehghanpour Tuesday. Pompeo proved a long-time theory on the close relationship between the Iranian government and the terrorist organization.
In January of this year, the former secretary of state claimed that Iran’s highest institutions were helping al-Qaeda during a speech to the National Press Club. The speech was titled “The Iran-al-Qaeda Axis.” Afterwards, he was accused on Twitter by Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif of telling “warmongering lies.”
But later the Defense Intelligence Agency confirmed that there were members of al-Qaeda headquarted in Iran. So Pompeo doubled down. “Al-Qaeda’s global terror operations is headquartered in Iran, with the permission of the Iranian regime,” Pompeo tweeted.
When asked about this latest tweet, Pompeo suggested Iran maintains the relationship to protect itself. In exchange for providing “support and enabl[ing] these al-Qaeda leaders to conduct their global operations campaign,” Iran gets a promise that these terrorists “won’t conduct operations against Iranian assets or inside of Iran,” Pompeo said.
“This gives them enormous control,” Pompeo went on.
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Mental health crisis spikes among Afghan women after Taliban regained control two years ago
The women of Afghanistan are suffering a mental health crisis since the Taliban regained power two years ago. According to a joint report from three U.N. agencies released Tuesday, approximately 70% of women experience feelings of anxiety, isolation and depression.
The numbers continue to rise, as there has already been a significant jump between April and June of this year alone, with an increase from 57% the preceding quarter.
The report, conducted by U.N. Women, the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, interviewed women online, in-person and in group consultations as well as individual telesurveys.
592 Afghan women in 22 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces took part in the study. The Associated Press reports:
They have barred women from most areas of public life and work and banned girls from going to school beyond the sixth grade. They have prohibited Afghan women from working at local and non-governmental organizations. The ban was extended to employees of the United Nations in April.
Opportunities to study continued to shrink as community-based education by international organizations was banned and home-based schooling initiatives were regularly shut down by the de facto authorities — a term use by the U.N. for the Taliban government.
Afghanistan is the only country in the world with restrictions on female education and the rights of Afghan women and children are on the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
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