Iran refutes CIA ‘fake news’ in bin Laden files
Iran on Friday accused the CIA of spreading “fake news” about Tehran’s support for the Al Qaeda, describing the claims as an attempt to “whitewash” the truth about the role US allies had in the September 11, 2001, attacks, The Statesman reports.
“A record low for the reach of petrodollars: CIA & FDD fake news w/ selective Al Qaeda docs re Iran can’t whitewash the role of US allies in 9/11,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif wrote on his Twitter account on Friday.
Zarif posted the tweet after the release of a 19-page Al Qaeda report in Arabic, which claimed Iran supported the extremist group before the 9/11 attacks.
The document, part of nearly 47,000 documents released by the CIA, quoted the group’s slain leader Osama bin Laden as saying: “Anyone who wants to strike America, Iran is ready to support him and help him with their frank and clear rhetoric.”
It claimed that Iran and Al Qaeda could overlook their differences and join forces when it came to confronting the US.
The US government’s 9/11 Commission has made similar allegations, saying Iranian officials met Al Qaeda leaders in Sudan in either 1991 or early 1992.
Last year, a New York court ordered Iran to pay $7.5 billion in damages to the families of the 9/11 victims.
The release of the files comes as US President Donald Trump’s administration seeks to ramp up pressure on Iran, refusing to certify a landmark nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
The Fars news agency, which is close to Iranian conservatives, said on Thursday that the selective publication of documents by the CIA related to Al Qaeda was part of efforts “to put pressure on Iran”.