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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration accused Iran on Thursday of entering into a "secret deal" with an al-Qaida offshoot that provides money and recruits for attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Treasury Department designated six members of the unit as terrorists subject to U.S. sanctions.
"Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world today," Cohen said in a statement. "We are illuminating yet another aspect of Iran's unmatched support for terrorism."
Western officials point to the release earlier this year of an Iranian diplomat who was held for 15 months after being kidnapped by gunmen in Pakistan. In negotiations for the diplomat's freedom, they say Iran promised better conditions for dozens of people close to Osama bin Laden who were being held under tight security. These included some of the terror chief's children and the network's most senior military strategist, Saif al-Adel.