Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed western media reports of a link between Iran and Al-Qaeda terror group as an attempt to cover up the Saudi role in the Sept. 11 New York attacks.
“A record low for the reach of petrodollars: CIA & FDD fake news w/ selective al-Qaeda docs re: Iran can’t whitewash role of US allies in 9/11,” Zarif said in a Twitter message on Thursday.
The allegations of “secret dealings” are based on a newly released trove of documents allegedly recovered from Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan compound during the 2011 raid that killed the Al-Qaeda leader.
Wednesday’s release came at a time when US President Donald Trump has decertified a nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor Barack Obama and signed with other major powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear program in return for the easing of international sanctions.
The 19-page report, dated 2007, was first published by the Long War Journal, a publication backed by the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a think tank fiercely critical of Iran and its nuclear agreement with major powers.
In what it claims to be a history of Al-Qaeda’s relationship with Iran, the report alleges Tehran offered Al-Qaeda fighters “money and arms and everything they need, and offered them training in Hezbollah camps in Lebanon, in return for striking American interests in Saudi Arabia.”
Trump has described the 2015 nuclear accord as the “worst deal ever made” and is keen to undermine the Islamic Republic by making several unfounded allegations.
The fabricated documents could be seized upon by the hawkish Republican, whose administration is struggling to contain Tehran’s role in the Middle East, in collaboration with Iran’s regional arch-rival Saudi Arabia.
However, ironically, the petrodollars of Saudi Arabia and its allies, like Egypt and the UAE, funded attacks in the past by major terrorist groups, including Al-Qaeda, against the United States and other western countries over the past couple of decades.
Out of 19 hijackers, who slammed two planes into twin towers of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, 15 were identified as Saudi nationals.
A redacted long-classified report released by the US Congress in July 2016 found that some of the 9/11 hijackers were in contact with and received support from individuals likely connected to the Saudi government.
Known as the “28 pages”, the secret document was part of a 2002 Congressional Joint Inquiry into the Sept. 11 attacks.
Despite his initial hard stance on Riyadh during his election campaign for presidency last year, Trump has turned a blind eye on the oil-rich kingdom’s role in the 9/11 disaster and has gone so far as to sign arms deals worth hundreds of billions of dollars with the Arab country.