Oh, by the way, the U.S. just accused Iran of working with Al Qaeda

A little something light to tide you over while we wait for the next chapter in the debt-ceiling saga. I’ve been around blogs long enough to remember when claiming that Shiite nuts might collaborate with Sunni nuts against America would draw derisive snickers from lefty blogs at the sheer wingnuttery of the idea. Isn’t it just like neocons to try to drum up war against Iran by claiming a connection as preposterous as that?

And now here we are. Over to you, Obama administration:

The Treasury Department slapped sanctions on six individuals operating in a network that they said “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, also designated today.”

“Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world today. 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,” Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen said in a statement announcing the sanctions…

Among the individuals sanctioned today is Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil, described by the Treasury Department as “an Iran-based senior al Qaeda facilitator currently living and operating in Iran under an agreement between al Qaeda and the Iranian government.”…

“As al Qaeda’s representative in Iran, Khalil works with the Iranian government to arrange releases of al Qaeda personnel from Iranian prisons. When al Qaeda operatives are released, the Iranian government transfers them to Khalil, who then facilitates their travel to Pakistan,” the Treasury Department said.

This isn’t the first time Treasury’s targeted Al Qaeda inside Iran, actually: Bill Roggio remembers that four AQ operatives, including Saad Bin Laden, were sanctioned in January 2009. If that doesn’t prove to you that Iran’s dealing with major players inside Al Qaeda, not just the rank-and-file, Roggio also points out that Atiyah Abd al-Rahman happens to be Al Qaeda’s operations chief and was working with Bin Laden himself on an attack timed to the 10th anniversary of 9/11 before the SEALs came knocking on Osama’s door. But then, none of this is the least bit surprising. Remember where Saif al-Adel, one of AQ’s highest capos, spent the better part of the last decade? Remember the AP’s exclusive just two months ago about how Iran might be preparing to release Al Qaeda prisoners in order to target American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan? Do I need to link this evergreen Tom Joscelyn piece about longstanding ties between Iran and Al Qaeda yet again? Go figure that a fundamentalist state that specializes in outsourcing terror against the west via proxies might broker a cold peace with America-hating Wahhabist terrorists.

Since we’re on the subject, I feel obliged to link this hopeful WaPo story from a few days ago about how U.S. intel increasingly believes Al Qaeda’s leadership in Pakistan is on its last legs. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross warns against declaring mission accomplished, which is fair enough, but if the best this degenerate can do right now is try to convince Syrian protesters that America’s their worst enemy and not the monster in Damascus who’s been killing them for months, well, maybe we’re closer to mission accomplished than we think.