Ahmadinejad Calls 9/11 a ‘Big Lie’; Says Collapse of Zionist Regime will Herald Return of Christ, Mahdi

As I reported in January, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has begun taking the line that the September 11, 2001, attacks by al-Qaeda on New York and Washington were actually stage-managed by US “Intelligence,” to create a pretext for American invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. This view is not widely shared among Iranians or Iranian politicians. Iran itself lost nationals in Afghanistan and Pakistan to assassination by al-Qaeda or the Taliban, and Shiite Hazaras in Afghanistan were massacred by the same forces. Then-president Mohammad Khatami expressed warm condolences to the US after the attacks, noting that Iran had suffered from terrorism as well. Iranian young people held candle light vigils for the victims.

Ahmadinejad’s recent speech to the Iranian Intelligence Ministry reiterates this ‘truther’ crackpot conspiracy theory about 9/11. The speech also demonstrates a Manichaean vision of history, in which the virtuous Islamic Republic is ranged against the forces of capitalism, which he says was invented by Zionists and which is intrinsically belligerent, war-like, exploitative and genocidal. (This analysis of the capitalist system as fomenting aggression and war comes not from Shiite theology but from Lenin’s analysis of the outbreak of World War I, as a capitalist war over control of markets.) Ahmadinejad’s looney assertion that capitalism was invented by ‘Zionists’ is ridiculous, since capitalism developed in early modern and modern Europe and Zionism as a movement did not amount to anything until the late nineteenth century at the earliest. But the trope of an essentialist connection between Jews, capitalism and exploitation is a commonplace in the literature of anti-Semitism, and is probably the origin of this bizarre allegation.

Ancient Iran developed the first monotheistic religion, Zoroastrianism, which holds that history is the unfolding of a battle between Ahura Mazda, God, and the evil Ahriman, a satan figure. The prophet of the new religion was Zarathustra, whom the Greeks called Zoroaster. The archaic language of the Old Persian (which is close to Sanskrit) of Gathas, his scripture, probably places him in the 1200s BC, though there are disputes and some date him hundreds of years later. Although some speak of Zoroastrianism as dualistic, Ahura Mazda is more powerful than Ahriman and will defeat him in the fullness of time. Human beings, the creation of Ahura Mazda, play a role in determining how soon the victory comes. When they lie or commit immoral acts, they aid and abet Ahriman. When they tell the truth and are virtuous, they aid Ahura Mazda and hasten the advent of the Saoshyant or promised future messiah. Zoroastrianism invented concepts such as the Last Days, the resurrection of the dead, and an eternal afterlife.

Although Iran converted to Islam gradually (and mostly willingly) after the seventh century CE, cultural influences of Zoroastrianism are visible in Iranian Shiite Islam. Indeed, Zoroastrian ideas probably influenced Judaism and the writing of the Bible during the Babylonian exile, as Iran came to rule Babylonia. And since the Parthian dynasty of Iran had a presence in Palestine shortly before the advent of Christianity, it is not impossible that Iranian themes influenced that religion, as well.

Ahmadinejad’s speech not only presents a dualistic war between good Iran and an evil, Ahriman-like United States (champion of oppressive capitalism), but also refers to the Iranian president’s emphasis on the Shiite Promised One or Imam Mahdi. He refers to Iran’s intelligence operatives as the ‘unknown soldiers’ of the ‘Lord of the Age’ (i.e. the Mahdi), and praises them for capturing Abdul Malik Rigi, the leader of the Sunni Baluch terrorist group Jundullah (Army of God), which has attacked mosques and other sites in the Iranian province of Baluchistan and Sistan in the southeast. Baluch are Sunnis and many feel oppressed under Persian, Shiite rule; the province is the poorest in Iran. Rigi’s televised confession alleged that he was recruited by high-level CIA and other US intelligence officials and did not strike me as credible as to its details, but it appears to have been widely believed by the Iranian public and to have hurt the image among them of the Obama administration, according to Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

Not only is Ahmadinejad the Iranian equivalent of a truther, he is also the mirror image of the Christian Zionists. That brand of evangelicals in the US believes that the establishment of Israel throughout geographical Palestine, i.e. the complete annexation of the West Bank and perhaps the expulsion of its Palestinian residents, will hasten the return of Christ.

Ahmadinejad holds the opposite. It is in his view the collapse of what he calls the Zionist regime and the emergence of a state for all Palestinians, whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim, that will provoke the Promised One to come. In Shiite Islam, the promised one is the return of the 12th Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, the lineal descendant of the Prophet Muhammad. In Muslim folk belief it is sometimes alleged that when the Mahdi comes, Jesus will also return, and they will join forces to prepare the world for the Judgment Day. When he was in Damascus on 25 February, Ahmadinejad spoke thusly when meeting with Syrian Muslim clergymen, as broadcast on the official Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran Network 1 radio channel that day, and translated by the USG Open Source Center:

‘The day on which the Lord of the Age (REFERENCE to the 12th Shiite imam) and Jesus (peace be upon him) will come and spread monotheism and justice in the whole world, is close. Understand this. The final move has begun. God willing, with the destruction of the Zionist regime, the prophets’ mission will be fulfilled. Today, the settings of the stage for the resurrection of Jesus and endeavors to prepare the ground for the re-appearance of Imam Mahdi, are factors which make up the axis of unity of all those who have faith in the holy prophets.’

Because there will be a lot of propaganda around all this, I want to underline that Ahmadinejad did not then and has never called for the violent destruction of Israelis or Israel. He rather expects the ‘Zionist regime’ peacefully to collapse, as the Soviet regime in Moscow did. It is that peaceful collapse that will apparently in his view herald the return of the 12th Imam, the Mahdi, and of Jesus Christ.

Here is the USG Open Source Center translation of Ahmadinejad’s speech of March 6, in which he again says that September 11 was a plot of US intelligence services:

Iran: President Ahmadinezhad Says 11 September Attacks ‘Big Lie’
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Document Type: OSC Translated Text . . .

Tehran, 6 March: President Mahmud Ahmadinezhad had said: The arrest of

Abdolmalek Rigi (the leader of rebel Sunni group Jondollah) has humiliated the intelligence services of the US, Britain, and the Zionist regime [by his televised confession that he was working in tandem with the CIA to blow up mosques and other sites in Iranian Baluchistan -JC].

Ahmadinezhad, who was speaking at a meeting with the minister, deputy ministers, managers, and personnel of the Intelligence Ministry, congratulated the auspicious birthday anniversary of the prophet of light and compassion, His Holiness Muhammad al-Mustafa (peace be upon him) and the birthday anniversary of Imam Sadeq (Sixth Shi’i imam) (peace be upon him), IRNA reported on Saturday (6 March), quoting the presidential website. He said that the Intelligence Ministry’s personnel are the best collection of Hezbollahi (members of Party of God; meaning pious) forces and added: Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s intelligence system is the most virtuous intelligence system in the world.

The President said that the Lord of the Age’s Unknown Soldiers (intelligence forces) have a divine and sacred mission. He said: The Intelligence Ministry should be the most coordinated, organized, powerful, and flowing (Persian — Ravantarin) organization in the country.

The President said that the purpose of man’s creation was to establish a world government based on monotheism and justice. He added: Throughout history, devils fought against prophets and pious people. The climax of man’s fight against devils is taking place in our time. Today, the devils show that they are gathered at the forefront of the world arrogance.

He added: Man’s nature is a divine and heavenly one. When man’s thought and nature are limited to worldly affairs, then he will have no option but to fall.

The President said that capitalist thoughts have resulted in plundering, bullying, and the killing of mankind’s essence. He said: Liberal democracy is the result of a fight between power and wealth. The US-led world arrogance’s front against the Islamic Republic is the climax of the fight between the monotheism front and devils.
The head of the Supreme National Security Council said that all vices in history have gathered in the arrogance front. He said: The crimes committed by the world arrogant are unprecedented in history. Today, the heaviest massacre and terrorist actions in the world are carried out by their (the arrogant of the world) accomplices by raising the flag of human rights.

Ahmadinezhad said that the materialist thoughts were challenged and Marxism was destroyed after the emergence of the Islamic Republic. He said: Thanks to the grace of God, the capitalist system founded by the Zionists has reached the end of its path.

The president added: US invasions and NATO’s military expedition in the region are merely aimed at saving liberal democracy and the capitalist school of thought.

He said that the September 11 attacks and the demolition of the Twin Towers in the US were a complex scenario carried out by the intelligence (Persian — Eqdam-e Ettela’ati). He said: The 11 September event was a big lie. It paved the way for the military expedition to Afghanistan under the pretext of fighting with terrorism.

Ahmadinezhad referred to the arrest of Abodlmalek Rigi by the Soldiers of the Lord of the Age (the Iranian intelligence forces) and said: The arrest of this terrorist bandit has humiliated the intelligence services of the US, Britain, and the Zionist regime. . .

(Description of Source: Tehran IRNA in Persian — Official state-run online news agency, headed as of January 2010 by Ali Akbar Javanfekr, former media adviser to President Ahmadinezhad. URL:http://www.irna.ir)

End/ (Not Continued)

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18 Responses

  1. "The speech also demonstrates a Manichaean vision of history, in which the virtuous Islamic Republic is ranged against the forces of capitalism, which he says was invented by Zionists and which is intrinsically belligerent, war-like, exploitative and genocidal"

    You are correct in panning the notion that the Jews had anything to do with the invention of Capitalism. However, I notice that you did not comment on the latter part of the Manichaean vision which I would suggest is correct viz. that Capitalism is intrinsically belligerent, war-like, exploitative and genocidal.

  2. Ridiculing the fundamentalists without ridiculing the source of their beliefs: their religion whether Islam, Christianity, or Judaism is hypocritical.

    If the Christians believe in the return of Christ, or the Shi'as in the return of the Mahdi, then they are either following the respectable religions which makes their views respectable, or their religions are ridiculous and we must say so to protect the people who are being brain washed by the false religious machinery which cowers people to keep the big lies going.

  3. thx for the interesting input. its really always a pleasure to read on your blog!

    just one question: you say that zoroastrianism is the first monotheistic religion. the same is written on wikipedia. but how come?
    what about judaism?! why isnt that the first? because scriptures were written down later?

  4. I suspect Ahmadinejad's sentiments regarding 9/11 as an internal conspiracy are much more widespread in Iran than you may believe. I have no scientific way to prove this but here my reasons for thinking it.

    1)Iranian exiles that I know personally, very opposed to the government, are very suspicious of 9/11. They will usually wait until they know you better before saying it.

    2)It is an exceedingly common belief in the neighboring Arab states.

    3) Judging by internet content, there are quite a few people here in the USA who will entertain the notion.

    It is certainly true that Both Khatami and Khamenei at the time condemned the attack and expressed sympathy with the US as did many Iranian's. But that was 9 years ago. The mood is much different now.

    Ahmadinejad's purpose was first to rally his base of supporters…and regardless of the election results, he has a substantial base. And second, it is a "na-na-na-na-na" statement to the US. Something along the order of "we aren't in the least bit intimidated by you"

    That's my guess, anyway.

  5. The scary thing is a lot of people believe that 9/11 was an inside job here in the United States. In my history class the subject of 9/11 came up and 25 out of 30 people including the teacher thought that US intelligence had a hand it the attacks. Why do these conspiracy theories take root? A lot of people in Europe believe it too.

  6. Ahmadinjad's is trying to re-establish the damaged legitimacy and restore the Arab streets. The target audience is the Arab streets not the Iranian people. It's part of the wider Khomeinist ideology of "Worldwide Islamic Government".

    Why would a country with a GDP of Alabama would fund an Arabic TV, Al Alam, and an English speaking TV like PressTV?? All of these are part of of wider strategic goal.

  7. Eric S. asked the question: "Why do these conspiracy theories take root?"

    While objective analysis of the events of 9/11 and who was responsible for our government's failure to stop them, is extremely difficult, Eric's question is easy to answer.

    There has never been any investigation that I know if into why the Bush administration did not act on explicit evidence that a major terrorist event in the United States was eminent. We have proof that memos to this effect reached his desk. Ascroft authorized his senior aides to avoid flying on commercial airliners and instead to fly on private planes for government business. Why? Because it was too dangerous. Yet this happened as he ordered the FBI to reduce its anti terror activities leading up to 9/11. Recall that the 9/11 commission was to examine these issues after the 2004 election. But then republicans took control of congress and no examination was ever done. I can go on and on. If our government would have truly examined itself in the wake of 9/11 and held those people in high places responsible, then maybe the wild truther theories wouldn't have taken root. But in the absence of information, people will invent it. And that has been done here.

    Personally, I don't know what to believe about 9/11 except to say that it should never have happened if the appropriate authorities right up to the president had been doing their jobs. That coupled with the obvious windfall to the neocons to start their middle east wars makes one highly suspicious. I think these doubts could ultimately rot out core support for our federal government. We already see its effect in the tea party movement.

  8. @Eric S. Why do these conspiracy theories take root? imho, It is because so many people and organizations take advantage of tragedies for their own self-interest. e.g., Mr. Bush took advantage of 9/11 "to become a War Leader," (he was, prior to 9/11 being openly mocked in The States as a kind of buffoon). Mr. Cheney took advantage of 9/11 to achieve and sustain his vision of a Unitary Executive. Mr. Rumsfeld's D.O.D. swelled to unprecedented power. Corporations (and the entire EU continent) experienced capital gains from the resulting War On Terror ruse. "Government," itself became "that entity which provides security to The People" ~ a fresh new raison d'etre ~ whereas before 9/11 the general idea was more akin to: "The essential purpose of The People was to ensure the security of their government = DEMOCRACY." With so many actors so willing (and so successfully!) capitalizing on National Tragedies ~ it is not difficult to want to explain such exploitative, psychopathic behaviour by means of some 'conspiracy'… rather than face the awful truth that people ~ even your own neighbors ~ can be so cruel to one another, so suddenly, without conscience aforethought.

  9. "you say that zoroastrianism is the first monotheistic religion" ; doesn't that recognition properly belong to Akhenaten and 'Aten'?

  10. link to democracynow.org

    March 9, 2010

    Claim: Pentagon Pedaled Misinformation About Attack on Marja
    By Amy Goodman

    While Defense Secretary Robert Gates praised the recent offensive in Marja, the military historian and journalist Gareth Porter reports the Pentagon may have purposely overhyped the importance of Marja to make it out to be a historic turning point in the war. * While Marja was described in the press as a city of 80,000, Porter reports it is not even a real town, just a few clusters of farmers’ homes and a large agricultural area covering much of the southern Helmand River Valley. Porter describes the picture of Marja presented by military officials as one of the clearest and most dramatic pieces of misinformation of the entire war.

    * link to counterpunch.org

  11. "Why do these conspiracy theories take root?"

    Because the US administration has done everything to hinder a clear and transparent investigation. Why weren't Bush/Cheney questioned under oath? Why do we continue to insist that they attacked us "because they hate our freedom"?

  12. Conspiracy theories are ubiquitous in Iranian culture an political life. Two examples:

    (1) "They stole the election."

    (2) "They're organizing a velvet revolution."

  13. 'Secret' Gates-Ahmadinejad meeting in Kabul?
    American Thinker / James Lewis
    Secratery of Defence, Robert Gates, is going on a surprise visit to Afghanistan. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also happens to be going to Kabul, overlapping with the Gates visit. It's possible they will just drive past each other in Kabul. But it seems more likely that they are going to finalize some sort of agreement that's been bubbling up behind the scenes. Possibly the Afghan government, which wants good relations with both Iran and the US, will try to broker an agreement.

    >>>link to americanthinker.com

  14. Actually most Iranian in Iran think that both the US and the IRI knew about the planned attack on the twin towers but chose to turn a blind eye for political and strategic reasons.

  15. Vandalism of Cyrus Cylinder article in Wikipedia by Eurocentrists
    kavehfarrokh.com / Kaveh Farrokh

    link to iranian.com

    Mr. Cole: please help if you can.

  16. On 9/11 conspiracy theories: the term itself is quite strange (it was a conspiracy by any account – one can only ask who were the conspirators). And here our host seems to be too certain. There is a nice recent article:
    link to foreignpolicyjournal.com

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