Shifting the Blame: How US Made Iran Responsible for 9/11
ERIC ZUESSE, Contributing Author
This article was originally published through Strategic Culture Foundation
The official U.S. government line is that Iran is the main country responsible for the 9/11 attacks in America. On 9 March 2016, a U.S. civil court ruled that Iran must pay to some victims of the 9/11 attacks $10.5 billion in fines, and the Obama Administration had no comment, so the U.S. press ignored the verdict almost totally. But this verdict was the only official U.S. court ruling thus far about state-sponsorship of the 9/11 attacks, 16 years after the event. It was therefore huge news on 9 March 2016 — it created a precedent, for the U.S. government to allege that Iran had caused the 9/11 attacks and is consequently ‘the number one terrorist state’ (as Israelis have long claimed). But it received very little coverage at the time.
The event’s significance was the precedent that this verdict set, but most of the ‘news’media simply didn’t report this important precedent: it was the first official U.S. governmental conclusion alleging that Iran had, in effect, ‘invaded’ America, on 11 September 2001; and, yet, even now, no one is saying that Iran invaded the U.S. on 9/11, because the U.S. government isn’t yet trying to prepare the public to support an invasion of Iran by American forces. Still, this precedent could become the start for such preparation if neither of America’s Iran-hating ‘allies’ – Israel and/or Saudi Arabia – can be induced to invade.
President Trump, on May 20th, advanced toward the possibility of invading Iran a long way when he announced a record-shattering $350 billion sale of U.S.-made weapons to Saudi Arabia, and the White House said «This package of defense equipment and services support the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of Iranian threats». The symbolism here was that Saudi Arabia is America’s ally, and that Iran is America’s enemy. The stage is set in case a U.S. President will want to take that stage.
President Trump, on 5 February 2017, was asked in a Super Bowl television interview what his policies would be regarding Iran, and he answered (video here, transcript here): «They have total disregard for our country. They are the number one terrorist state». (When he was running for the U.S. Presidency, in 2016, he had spoken only about «Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia’s role on the World Trade Center and the attack. That’s very serious stuff. It’s sort of nice to know who your friends are and perhaps who your enemies are». But now that he was the U.S. President, and his biggest initial American jobs achievement — already in the works during his Presidency’s start — would be an all-time record high $350 billion sale of U.S.-made weapons to the Sauds, Trump as President has been mentioning the Sauds only as ‘allies’, no longer as supporters of terrorism.)
All of the information that’s known about Iran’s actual role in 9/11 is contained in the judge’s 22 December 2011 «Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law» in the civil court case, which the judge stated solely upon the basis of the research that the law firm for the suing American victims had set forth. Basically, what their case came down to is that some of the 9/11 hijackers had travelled through Iran prior to 9/11. Among those «Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law» were no allegations of evidence to prove that Iran had participated in the planning of the 9/11 attacks, nor of any Iranians paying any of the hijackers. However, one anti-government Iranian, named Mesbahi, referred to a flight simulator that maybe had been purchased from Iran, and he was alleged to have said that he «believes that the simulator was probably used to train the 9/11 hijacker pilots». That’s all. For these things, the judge fined the Iranian government $10.5B, and told the suing victims to get the money any way they could (which might be not at all since Iran mocked and rejected the verdict — but the precedent for ‘Iran caused 9/11’ was set).
What, then, was the reality of Iran and the 9/11 attacks? Even the civil suit’s claimants didn’t allege anything substantial for the period prior to 9/11, but what about the period since 9/11?
On 23 May 2013, FBI Agent Daniel A. Mehochko was honored by a U.S. military School of Advanced Military Studies, for «writing the best monograph in the AOASF [that school’s] program» and this 104-page study was titled «Iran’s Post 9/11 Grand Bargain: Missed Opportunity for Strategic Rapprochement Between Iran and the United States». Its «Abstract» and «Conclusion» say:
The events of 9/11 … provided an unprecedented opportunity for a strategic rapprochement between the United States and Iran. After 9/11, Iran not only denounced the attacks and cooperated with the United States in Afghanistan, but also offered to negotiate a comprehensive resolution of differences with no preconditions.
The failure to recognize the impact of the 1953 coup on Iran’s collective identity, and subsequent policy decisions in support of the shah, only reinforced the view that the United States was the primary source of Persian humiliation. … The Bush neoconservatives, dominating the NSC policy formulation process, viewed Iran through the same lens they viewed al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Saddam Hussein. Americans have a short attention span: the administration responded to Iran through the context of 1979, yet few considered that most Iranians still viewed America through the events of 1953. Regime change was the wrong policy for Iran. The militarized foreign policy approach that the administration thought worked so well in Afghanistan and Iraq was not relevant to Iran. As the Bush administration was about to discover, one cannot apply a singular policy to the complexity of the Middle East. The Bush Doctrine did just that.
Trump is continuing George W. Bush’s policy.
Mehochko wrote, on page 52:
Iran’s response to 9/11 surprised many observers: spontaneous candlelight vigils in Tehran mourned the American dead, the mayors of Tehran and Isfahan sent condolence messages to the people of New York City, and Iranians observed a moment of silence before a national soccer match. The Iranian government issued a strong statement condemning the terrorist attacks, and President Khatami publicly expressed his «deep regret and sympathy with the victims». During his November visit to the UN General Assembly, Khatami went so far as to request permission to visit ground zero in order to offer prayers and light a candle for the victims.88 (pictured right)
On page 55:
At the January 2002 Afghanistan Donors Conference in Tokyo, Iran pledged $540 million in assistance for the new Afghan government, compared to the $290 million committed by the United States. While in Tokyo, an Iranian representative approached Dobbins and expressed his desire to not only continue cooperation in Afghanistan, but work on other issues with the appropriate American officials. At this same conference, Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill received a similar message from the Iranian government. Both Dobbins and O’Neill reported Iran’s offers to Rice and Powell, but no reply was given to Iran. Later, during a March 2002 meeting in Geneva, the Iranian delegation met again with Dobbins, and offered military assistance to house and train up to 20,000 Afghan troops under the American led effort. Dobbins relayed this offer to the administration, but Powell deferred the issue to Rice, who deferred the issue to Rumsfeld. Days later, the issue was on the agenda for discussion at a NSC Principals Committee meeting. During the meeting, Dobbins relayed Iran’s offer, but Rumsfeld ignored the issue, and no one else seemed interested.
In October 2001, Flynt Leverett, Middle East expert for the Department of State’s Policy Planning Staff, was responsible for developing a strategy to address the offers of support from Syria, Libya, Iran, and other troublesome countries. Leverett’s proposal to Powell was basically a quid pro quo engagement: if these countries agree to expel terrorist groups and cease efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction, the United States, in return, will normalize relations. In December, when this policy proposal came up for discussion at a NSC Deputies Committee meeting (chaired by Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley), Hadley, as well as the representatives from the vice president’s office and the OSD, rejected the idea.
Then, Mehochko stated: «The Pentagon was already exploring options for regime change in Tehran». Furthermore: «Israel and Pakistan were also alarmed about the increased cooperation between Iran and the United States».
On page 65, Mehochko quoted from President Bush’s State of the Union Address on 29 January 2002:
Our second goal is to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction. Some of these regimes have been pretty quiet since September 11th, but we know their true nature. North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens. Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people’s hope for freedom. Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax and nerve gas and nuclear weapons for over a decade…States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.
Clearly, the U.S. is set upon conquest. First, Afghanistan was invaded; then Iraq; then Libya; then Syria — all of them destroyed (and radicalized — which the U.S. started in Afghanistan back in 1979). Perhaps Iran will be next. What is the point of anyone’s trusting a government like that?
Mehochko’s report ignored the fact that the Islamic world is split between Sunnis, led by Saudi Arabia, versus Shiites, led by Iran, and that the Sauds’ desire to exterminate all Shia goes back at least to the 1744 compact between Muhammad ibn Saud and Muhammad ibn Wahhab, which formed Saudi Arabia, in a compact of hate. Mehochko’s report ignores the crucial alliance between the U.S. and the Saud family. Mehochko ignores that the U.S. co-founded Al Qaeda along with the Sauds in 1979 in order to conquer Russia, which the American aristocracy hate, and conquer Iran, which the Saudi aristocracy hate. But compared to what most American officials and military and intelligence operatives and scholars write about Iran and the nations that are friendly toward it, Mehochko’s paper was remarkably honest, so it’s cited here.
The U.S. government has and hides massive reams of rock-solid evidence that leaders of the Saud family, which is the royal family who own all of Saudi Arabia, not only were the top funders of Al Qaeda and of the 9/11 attacks, but continued afterward being the world’s top funders of not only Al Qaeda but also of many of the other jihadist groups that accept and follow Al Qaeda’s leadership.
If Trump were sincere, then, he would instead publicly expose the fraud that U.S. foreign policy has been based upon, and he would expose the historical record, which proves that the U.S. should be protecting Iran and its allies from the Saudi-led fundamentalist-Sunni war against Iran and against all of the world except Sunni-allied Israel and except Sunni-ruled countries. Russia and China and India would then become also U.S. allies, and the possibility of a globe-annihilating nuclear world war – WWIII – would immediately plunge. Hundreds of trillions of dollars that will otherwise be spent on preparations for WWIII would then go instead toward constructive expenditures. But something prevents American Presidents from doing any such thing as that. Apparently, America’s long war to conquer Iran, Russia, and China must go on no matter what. The 9/11 attacks kicked it into high gear.
First, the U.S. punished Afghanistan for 9/11. Then, the U.S. punished Iraq for 9/11. Then, the U.S. court said that Iran somehow was the nation guilty for 9/11. Then, the U.S. President said that Iran is ‘the number one terrorist state’.
The stage is set. But after an intermission, what will the remaining acts be? Has the script been written for what is to come? Does anyone know how the play that started on 9/11 will end?
All that can be concluded from the evidence thus far is that the Sauds did 9/11 with inside-job cooperation from George W. Bush, and that afterward, a country uninvolved in it — Iraq — was invaded and destroyed, and another country uninvolved in it — Iran — has recently become fined for having caused it.