Ahmadinejad as Truther

Now Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad not only questions the extent of the Holocaust but is also a “truther,” saying, absurdly, that the US and Israeli governments were behind the 9/11 attacks. The USG Open Source Center paraphrased and translated his speech on Wednesday in Ahvaz (Islamic Republic of Iran News Network Television (IRINN) Wednesday, January 13):

The president said the enemies, after failing to dominate the region through sedition, have now turned to military action in the region. He said issues such as human rights were a pretext for the West to enter the Middle East. He said the West aimed to hold control of the energy resources of the region to save its economic failure.

He said: “Even the issue of 11 September is a suspicious development. Many of the researchers and opinion-holders are of the view that the issue of 11 September is an American-Zionist issue. It is an excuse for military presence in the Middle East.”
He added: “Using the excuse of 11 September, they started a war in Afghanistan, then Iraq then they occupied Pakistan and subsequently they fanned the flames of war in Yemen.”

In contrast, his predecessor, Mohammad Khatami, had warmly commiserated with the United States after the September 11 attacks, pointing out that Iran had also seen terrorist violence directed against it (by the Saddam-backed Mojahedin-e Khalq, MEK– or People’s Holy Warriors). Iranians mounted candlelight vigils for the victims in September of 2001. Then in January of 2002, David Frum and Richard Perle convinced a clueless W. to put Iran in a so-called “axis of evil.” Bush and the Neocons undermined the reformist Khatami, and so are in part responsible for giving us Ahmadinejad.

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4 Responses

  1. It would be good to have more of that speech to clarify, if possible, whether he means the US used 9-11 as a pretext to attack Afghanistan and Iraq (which is widely believed) or if, as YOU say he says, the US was behind the attack (which is a different thing altogether). On what you have quoted, you seem to have verbaled him, which is not your usual style.

    The entire history of US-Iranian relations since 1979 has been one of the US not making good on promises, culminating with Obama renewing Bush's sanctions and calling Iran a state sponsor of terrorism, and then a week later making his Nowruz speech and expecting a positive reaction.

    Most recently, the P5+1 – Iranian talks saw Obama put a proposal on the table, and at the same time set a deadline after which there will be even more sanctions. The Iranian response was to make a counter-proposal that has been completely ignored. So ignored was it, that Laura Rozen told us about it at Politico on 10 Jan. link to dyn.politico.com claiming it was an "exclusive" story, when it has been on ICH for a month !

    It is impossible to believe that these diplomatic blunders are happening by mistake. This is just the US giving the illusion of talks, while the war-drums beat louder and louder. Blocking shipping from bringing fuel to Iran is an act of war.

    The Nobel Peace Prize winner will soon have six wars on the go, making GW seem like an amateur.

  2. Dr. Cole:

    The quote you give from the OSC's translation of Ahmadinejad's speech may well hint at the idea that "the US and Israeli governments were behind the 9/11 attack" as you suggest it does, but his statement as quoted seems more equivocal to me:

    He says, Even the issue of 11 September is a suspicious development. Many of the researchers and opinion-holders are of the view that the issue of 11 September is an American-Zionist issue. It is an excuse for military presence in the Middle East, and Using the excuse of 11 September, they started a war in Afghanistan, then Iraq then they occupied Pakistan and subsequently they fanned the flames of war in Yemen.

    Two points.

    First, Ahmadinejad as quoted seems to be saying primarily that the US and Israel used 9-11 as an excuse for war, which might well mean an excuse generated after the event, and leaves unsaid the idea, found in some but not all "truthers", that the US and Israeli actually orchestrated the attacks themselves for that purpose ahead of time.

    Second, he introduces the "suspicious development" issue with the words, Many of the researchers and opinion-holders are of the view that… — and arguably those words might still hold good as applied to the rest of his remarks as quoted. Is he expressing his own view, as the punctuation in the OSC translation suggests — or still passing along the opinions of others?

    I haven't seen the full text of the OSC translation, of course, so there may be more to be found there that supports your interpretation — but given only the two quotes you've supplied, I'd have to say his comments may hint in the direction of 9-11 being an Israeli-US plot, and may well be "read" as supporting that view by those who hold it themselves, but that he hasn't actually come out and made that claim.

    A form of plausible deniability, perhaps?

  3. I disagree with Mr. Ahmadinejad. And these comments are not even the most absurd things he has been saying lately.

    However, I am also sick and tired of this discourse which constantly judges the entire world on the basis of whether they love America and whether they feel America's pain. Why not turn the table and judge the US on the basis of whether it feels the pain of Muslims? It's too late for that though. The US has been busy inflicting the pain on Muslims, by its support for Israel, invasion of Iraq, bombing of Afghanitan, meddling in Lebanon, sanctioning Iran, destroying Somalia, etc.

  4. From the quote "Even the issue … is an excuse for military presence in the Middle East," I fail to see how this was behind the attack. Instead I think he's saying that after the event, they capitalized on what had happened and used it as an excuse for for military action.

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