A recent revelation by an Iranian official might have serious ramifications for relations between the United States and Iran. It appears that the rogue state is admitting its role in the facilitation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks if you can believe the source of the information: a Saudi news organization. Questions abound as to whether this is an actual reporting of real news or a Saudi-backed propaganda effort to destabilize Iran’s power in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia has been a long time rival of Iran, and the two regimes have been engaged in a cold war of sorts for control over the region; astute observers may ask themselves whether this is reliable information or merely Saudi propaganda in a similar vein to the endless anti-Russia news stories seen recently in the West. Let us not forget that Saudia Arabia, too, has been linked to the 9/11 attack by U.S. intelligence.
While the United States has always suspected that Iran was involved in the 2001 terrorist strike on the Twin Towers, Tehran has always denied playing a role. However, if this recent admission is to be believed, Iran provided material assistance to the 9/11 hijackers.
Iranian Official Allegedly Admits That Iran Assisted 9/11 Hijackers
Al Arabiya, a Saudi-owned pan-Arab news organization, reported that Mohammad-Javad Larijani, the international affairs assistant in Iran’s judiciary admitted that Iran “facilitated the passage of al-Qaeda members who carried out the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in New York City.” Al Arabiya quotes the official in his appearance on Iranian state television.
According to Al Arabiya’s translation, Larijani said:
“The lengthy report of the 9/11 commission which was headed by figures like Lee Hamilton and others mentioned in pages 240 and 241, i.e. in two or three pages, queries Iran’s role in the issue [and said that] a group of reports stated that al-Qaeda members who wanted to go to Saudi Arabia and other countries like Afghanistan or others and who entered Iranian territories by land or by air asked the Iranian authorities not to stamp their passports [and told them] that if the Saudi government knows they’ve come to Iran, it will prosecute them.”
Larijani stated that the Iranian government “agreed not to stamp the passports of some of them because they were on transit flights for two hours, and they were resuming their flights without having their passports stamped.” He also claimed that Iran’s intelligence agencies were monitoring the movements of the hijackers.
The Iranian official also said that members of al-Qaeda “were in permanent contact with Iran’s intelligence ministry and that they used Iran in their flights to Afghanistan and other countries.” This information is not surprising – the United States was already aware of the ties between al-Qaeda and Iran.
After American Special Forces killed Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, the U.S. retrieved the terrorist leader’s documents. These papers revealed the intimate relationship between the Iranian government and the terrorist organization.
In one of the documents, an al-Qaeda member stated that “Iran is willing to provide everything that the group needs, whether arms, money, and training camps for Hezbollah in Lebanon, in exchange of attacking American interests in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.” Bin Laden’s papers also showed that Tehran had provided visas for al-Qaeda operatives to help them carry out their operations.
Will There Be Any Consequences?
Larijani’s alleged admission of Iran’s guilt is surprising – it confirms what the U.S. government already believed about the rogue regime’s relationship with Al Qaeda. Earlier this year, a federal judge ruled against Iran, ordering them to pay billions of dollars to the families of the 9/11 victims. It is possible that this story could add fuel to the fire when it comes to the already tense relationship between Washington and Tehran.
After President Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal, relations between the two nations grew even more antagonistic. Iran has made threats in response to Trump’s decision and the president is re-establishing sanctions on Tehran.
Meanwhile, Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East, has stepped up its military efforts against Iranian forces in Syria. The Jewish State has already pointed out that they will not allow Iran to gain a more significant foothold in the region, and they have backed up their words with force. Saudi Arabia has recently seemed to enter somewhat of an uneasy detente with Israel, not least over their shared opposition to Iran. Is this information, provided by a Saudi-owned media outlet, a genuine revelation, or a conveniently timed piece of spin to ensure closer ties with the Trump administration and secure its dominance in the Middle East?
While it is unlikely that this situation will transform directly into a military conflict, it is clear that the United States and Iran are heading towards a heated diplomatic confrontation.