An Iranian official recently admitted on state television that his government helped the majority Saudi terrorists on their way to commit the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. This Iranian role in helping Sunni al-Qaeda commit the most heinous terrorist attack in US history was long-suspected by the American government but, until now, was never confirmed.
On Friday, Al Arabiya, a Saudi-owned pan-Arab news site based in Dubai, published an article covering an interview with Mohammad-Javad Larijani, the international affairs assistant in the Iranian judiciary. In the interview, broadcast via Iranian state TV on May 30, Larijani discussed the role his government played in the 9/11 attacks.
US investigators who compiled the 2004 9/11 Commission Report wrote their suspicions that the Iranian government knowingly facilitated the passage of al-Qaeda members who later carried out the terrorist attacks, allowing the would-be terrorists to conceal their origins to US immigration officials.
“We believe this topic requires further investigation by the US government,” the commission stated.
Their suspicions were confirmed two weeks ago when Larijani admitted that Iranian immigration officials had done precisely that.
“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 said in the interview.
“Our 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. However their movements were under the complete supervision of the Iranian intelligence,” he added.
This complicity in 9/11 went even deeper and included Hezbollah.
“The Americans took this as evidence of Iran’s cooperation with al-Qaeda and viewed the passage of an airplane through Iran’s airspace, which had one of the pilots who carried out the attacks and a Hezbollah military leader sitting (next to) him on board, as evidence of direct cooperation with al-Qaeda through the Lebanese Hezbollah,” he said.
The US State Department has classified Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism for helping al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. Earlier this year, a federal US judge ordered Iran to pay $6 billion to families of the victims of 9/11 based on US government assertions that various Iranian government entities were accountable for the attacks.
This al Qaeda-Iran connection goes far deeper than the one attack. Larijani’s confession confirms a strong Iran-al Qaeda connection that was outlined in documents seized from al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s hideout when he was killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011. The CIA published these documents in November last year. Among the 470,000 documents seized, 19 pages were specifically on the prominent ties with Iran.
The US State Department acknowledged this confession in an Arab-language Twitter post but did not comment.