Former US Senator Joseph Lieberman: Iran Has Never Been Held Responsible for the ‘Enabling Role’ It Played in 9/11 Attacks
Iran has never been held responsible for the “enabling role” it played in the 9/11 terror attacks, a former US senator and vice presidential candidate said this week ahead of Sunday’s 15th anniversary of the devastating al-Qaeda terrorist attacks in which nearly 3,000 Americans were killed.
Joseph Lieberman, the chairman of the United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) advocacy group, wrote in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that American leaders “seem to have forgotten Iran’s role in that worst terror attack on American soil, and Iran’s continuing assistance to terror organizations and operations around the world.”
Lieberman cited the 9/11 Commission report, published in 2004, which found that “there is strong evidence that Iran facilitated the transit of al-Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, and that some of these were future 9/11 hijackers.”
Furthermore, Lieberman said, the US government has failed to properly understand the Iranian regime’s “willingness to work with extremists of the Sunni sect in the Arab world and elsewhere — even though it views itself as the vanguard of the world’s Shiite community. Iran is aiding both Sunni and Shiite terror organizations — including Sunni Hamas and Sunni Islamic Jihad, and Shiite Hezbollah and Shiite Iraqi militias.” Al-Qaeda is a Sunni organization.
The former Democratic senator from Connecticut, who was Al Gore’s vice presidential candidate in the 2000 presidential elections and retired from politics in January 2013, also cited a 2009 Washington Institute report, authored by Matthew Levitt and Michael Jacobson, which said that in the 1990s “Iran and al-Qaeda reached an informal agreement to cooperate, with Iran providing critical explosives, intelligence, and security training to [al-Qaeda leader Osama] bin Laden’s organization.”
Following 9/11, according to Lieberman, “Iran became a more important haven for al-Qaeda fighters who fled from Afghanistan as the Taliban collapsed. Iran claimed that these terrorists were under ‘house arrest.’ In reality, Iran regularly granted the terrorists freedom to move within Iran and to cross into Iraq and Afghanistan to carry out attacks.”
Lieberman went on to criticize the Obama administration’s pursuit of a détente with the Islamic Republic despite its engagement in terrorist activities across the globe.
“In the years following reports, court rulings and US government findings exposing the Iran/al-Qaeda alliance, the US led the countries known as the P5+1 in making a deal with Iran that at best postpones Iran’s nuclear ambitions — while giving them billions of dollars now, and a legal path to nuclear weapons in the future,” Lieberman wrote. “We negotiated with our enemy, the Iranian regime, notwithstanding its declared and demonstrated desire to destroy our country.”