The Iranian government has reportedly acknowledged it aided the transport of terrorists through the country on their way to conduct the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, an official within the Iranian judiciary made the bombshell announcement during an interview last month that has recently gained international attention.
“Our government agreed not to stamp the passports of some of (the terrorists) because they were on transit flights for two hours, and they were resuming their flights without having their passports stamped,” international affairs assistant Mohammad Javad Larijani said.
His remarks confirmed some suspicions and added context to the findings of the 9/11 Commission compiled after the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The U.S. Department of State shared a video clip of the interview on its Arabic-language Twitter account.
#شاهد | اعتراف معاون السلطة القضائية الإيرانية، محمد جواد لاريجاني، في تصريحات غير مسبوقة، أن #إيران سهلت مرور عناصر #القاعدة الذين نفذوا هجمات 11 سبتمبر/أيلول 2001 في #الولايات_المتحدة، مؤكدا ما ورد في تقرير اللجنة الخاصة بالهجمات في هذا الصدد. pic.twitter.com/7sOl4dWisk
— فريق التواصل DOS (@DOTArabic) June 8, 2018
According to a Twitter translation of the tweet, the department called Larijani’s admission “an unprecedented statement” by an Iranian official regarding the country’s role in the attacks.
The State Department also said that his statement added confirmation to “the report of the Special Commission on attacks in this regard.”
Despite the admission, however, Larijani said only the U.S. “took this as evidence” of Iran’s complicity in the 9/11 attacks.
“However their movements were under the complete supervision of the Iranian intelligence,” he said of the terrorists when their flights landed in the country.
Larijani went on to acknowledge that news about the terrorists’ passports seemed to bolster American suspicions about Iran’s involvement in the attacks.
“The Americans took this as evidence of Iran’s cooperation with al-Qaida and viewed the passage of an airplane through Iran’s airspace, which had one of the pilots who carried out the attacks and a Hezbollah military leader sitting (next to) him on board, as evidence of direct cooperation with al-Qaida through the Lebanese Hezbollah,” the Iranian official said.
The 9/11 Commission found that the hijackers responsible for the attack passed through Iran without having their passports stamped.
Largely on the strength of that evidence, a judge earlier this year ordered Iran to pay a default judgment of more than $6 billion to the families of those killed in the attack.
Judge George B. Daniels of the Southern District Court of New York found in his ruling in the suit that “the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and The Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran” were financially liable for more than 1,000 fatalities in the 2001 attacks.
Court records indicate the nation was ordered to pay $12.5 million to every surviving spouse and $8.5 million each to children and siblings of those killed on 9/11.
The same judge handed down similar default judgments against Iran in two previous ruling, one in 2011 and another in 2016.
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