For the first time, the U.S. has formally accused Iran of entering into an alliance with al Qaeda. The Treasury Department described an extensive Iran-based fundraising operation designed to funnel money and weapons to al Qaeda's forces in Pakistan and Afghanistan. U.S. officials say that Iran is helping al Qaeda, despite differences in religious beliefs, to assert control in the region after the U.S. departs. The Treasury issued sanctions against six people it says are heading al Qaeda's fundraising network with the support of Iranian authorities. Iran denied the claims.