Treasury Accuses Iran of Aiding Al Qaedahttp://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/29/world/29terror.html
WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department accused Iranian authorities of aiding Al Qaeda, and imposed financial sanctions on six people believed to be operatives for Al Qaeda in Iran, Kuwait, Qatar and Pakistan.
Treasury officials provided few details to back up their assertion that the Iranian government, dominated by Shiite Muslim clerics, had entered into an agreement with Al Qaeda, which is predominantly Sunni.
But Treasury officials nonetheless said that they were convinced that Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil, who they described as a “prominent Iran-based Al Qaeda facilitator,” was operating in Iran under an agreement between the terrorist group and the Iranian government. “This network serves as the core pipeline through which Al Qaeda moves money, facilitators and operatives from across the Middle East to South Asia, including to Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, a key Al Qaeda leader based in Pakistan,” the Treasury Department said in a statement.
Mr. Al-Rahman, one of the six people who are targets of the Treasury action, is believed to have recently ascended to second-in-command in Al Qaeda, reporting directly to the organization’s new leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who took over after the death of Osama Bin Laden.
“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 undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
The Treasury action means that Americans are barred from entering any commercial or financial transactions with the six people, and any assets they might have under American jurisdiction — probably few if any, administration officials acknowledged — are now frozen.