Mohammad Javad Larijani on New York court ruling against Iran for September 11 attack

Mohammad Javad Larijani: Now let’s go back to the U.S. official report regarding this incident [September 11]. They said, CIA report about Iran was almost clear, and George W. Bush took official stand about it based on that report. It was also completely clear about Saudi Arabia, but due to pressure and bribery, Obama administration was convinced to remove that part.

Host: Exactly, towards the end of Obama administration.

Mohammad Javad Larijani: But the report by 9/11 Commission is detailed, and people like Lee Hamilton headed this commission. In pages 240-241, there are a couple of pages about Iran. They have raised this question that what role Iran could have had in these issues. There were a series of report about Al-Qaeda operatives who came from Saudi Arabia to go to Afghanistan and other places. They used to either fly or came by land here. At the borders, they asked for not stamping their passports, because if Saudi Arabia government realized that they had come to Iran, they would be persecuted. Our government accepted not to stamp some of their passports, since they were transits, and they were here for a couple of hours. But we had the record of their comings and goings. They said that this was somehow as if Iran had had cooperation with Al-Qaeda. Or for example, they said an airplane had been moving from one point to another – for example, from one point in the region to another – and the pilot of the operation had been on board while a commander of Hezbollah Army had been sitting in another seat on that flight. They put all these together, asking whether Iran had cooperated with Al-Qaeda directly or through Hezbollah in this regard. The commission itself has concluded that in general Al-Qaeda has been the number one enemy of Iran. And bin Laden, particularly at the time that they had assassinated Ahmad Shah Massoud, considered Iran as enemy and they were fighting with Iran. And also Taliban had at some point had clashes with Iran. The commission concluded that in principle it doesn’t make sense for them to suppose that there were evidences showing that Iran had a hand in these issues. CIA had come to the same conclusion. But the rest of the report is about Saudi Arabia and its involvement in this. Therefore, in four official reports by the U.S. administration – and I haven’t seen any other reports – it has been clear that Iran had no role in these issues. Later, provoked by the U.S. administration and some governmental agencies, those who were victims of this incident filed a lawsuit against Saudi Arabia in this court branch, saying that based on these reports they were responsible, and they had to make compensation. But the court said, to us Saudi Arabia has political position. This corresponds to a ratification by U.S. Congress with regard to political issues of countries that, in their opinion, are supporters of terrorism. There are 10 or 12 such countries, and Iran is one of them. We have done likewise in our own parliament. So without entering the content of the case, those lawsuits against Saudi Arabia were not accepted. Now they had raised the lawsuits against Iran.

[Mohammad Javad Larijani, international deputy of Chief Justice, talks about New York court ruling against Iran.]