In his September 2010 address to the United Nations General Assembly, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad opined that "some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the (9/11) attack to reverse the declining American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order also to save the Zionist regime." Coming from a Holocaust denier and dedicated conspiracy theorist, these remarks were neither surprising nor worthy of serious reflection. They are, nevertheless, a useful starting point in understanding Iran's reaction to the U.S. military operation in Pakistan which resulted in the killing of Al Qaeda's terrorist-in-chief, Osama Bin Laden.
Iran's relationship with Bin Laden was always complicated. There were persistent rumors in the years following the 9/11 attacks that Bin Laden and those around him had taken refuge in Iran. In 2002, for example, the Christian Science Monitor interviewed a man described as Bin Laden's personal chef, who insisted that the Al Qaeda chief had crossed the porous border between Afghanistan and Iran.
Similar stories, impossible to confirm, emerged in 2009 and 2010. Whatever the truth of these specific claims, it is reasonable to conclude that Bin Laden would have spent...More >>