The recent release of documents seized during the 2011 raid that killed al-Qaeda head Osama Bin Laden show the extent to which Iran was cooperating with al-Qaeda.
The release of the documents was quashed during the years of the Obama administration. In fact, documents that were released by the Obama administration emphasized the rivalry between Iran and al-Qaeda.
The reason was simple: Obama was intent on signing a nuclear deal with Iran – a deal which would open up the global financial coffers to the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.
Far from image the Obama administration was painting of the Iranians as reformed “moderates,” such information would have been devastating.
Now, as the Trump administration reassesses the deal which has given access of billions of dollars to the Islamic Republic, it makes sense that the documents were released.
Yet, the fact that Iran was cooperating with al-Qaeda was known years ago, even before Obama became president. As Clarion Project’s National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro wrote in 2014,
“Earlier this month, the U.S. Treasury Department confirmed that Al-Qaeda has a leadership council in Iran that is transferring personnel and money to Jabhat al-Nusra [al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria] through Turkey.
“The Al-Qaeda network in Iran ‘operates there with the knowledge of Iranian authorities,’ the U.S. government said. The preservation of the Assad regime is a top goal of Iran, yet Iran is helping those at war with Assad. This only makes sense if Iran believes Al-Nusra’s presence is beneficial to Assad.
“The reason Iran and Assad believe this is because it’s true. If the Syrian rebels were led by anti-Islamist moderates, Western aid would flow and many more Syrians would join them …many Syrians (especially Allawites and Christians) cling to the regime because they know the horrors they’ll face if Islamists take over.
“But this isn’t only about Syria. This collusion with Al-Qaeda threatens the West. It means that Assad and Iran are helping terrorists carve out a safe harbor in Syria … [This helps] Al-Qaeda to sustain its network as a whole.
“A State Department official said that this network is also “assisting in the movement of Al-Qaeda external operatives to the West.” The Long War Journal listed three terrorist plots against the West that the Al-Qaeda network in Iran has been implicated in: A series of attacks in Europe in 2010; the planned derailment of a train going from the U.S. to Canada last year and a plan to attack the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
“This is nothing new. In fact, the 9/11 Commission report concluded that many of the 9/11 hijackers transited Iran. The Iranian authorities were instructed not to stamp their passports, easing their access to Europe and the U.S. Just like today, Iran allowed Al-Qaeda an important passageway. This contributed to a judge’s ruling in 2011 that Iran and Hezbollah bear responsibility for the 9/11 attacks.
“The Obama Administration has long known about this network in Iran. In 2009, the Treasury Department accused Iran and Al-Qaeda of having a ‘secret deal.’ It has been led by Yasin al-Sura since 2005, except for when al-Suri was temporarily detained by Iran because of the attention he was getting. Iran simply allowed another Al-Qaeda member to replace him. Al-Suri was recently freed.”
The fact that no one challenged the deal based on these revelations cannot be blamed solely on the Obama administration, as the Treasury Department’s statements were public knowledge and Congress was fully aware of the on-going cooperation between Iran and al-Qaeda.
The Iran deal was a travesty based on these revelations alone. The question still remains: Why was Obama intent on lifting global sanctions on Iran and why wasn’t the deal stopped by Congress?
U.S. President Donald Trump has the power to end this bad deal. Let us hope that he will end the deal and convince America’s Europeans partners to do the same.
Europe, with dollar signs in their eyes from the financial deals they cut with Iran after the deal was signed, should not be taken in by Iran’s latest “assurances” that Iran’s ballistic missiles are only meant for American assets in the Middle East and not for them.
Ironically, speaking at an October 31, 2017 press conference at the World Without Terrorism convention in Iran, Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (Iran’s terror arm), smooth-talked Europe, saying,
“The range of our missiles is limited to 2,000 km, in accordance with the policy set out by [Iranian Supreme] Leader Khamenei. Even though we have the capability to increase this range, in the meantime this range is enough for us, because the Americans are sufficiently situated within a 2,000-km radius around Iran.”