I.R.G.C. Outlet: Release of C.I.A.’s Al Qaeda Files New Plot against Iran

By Ahmad Majidyar | Fellow and Director of IranObserved Project - The Middle East Institute | Nov 2, 2017
I.R.G.C. Outlet: Release of C.I.A.’s Al Qaeda Files New Plot against Iran

The C.I.A.’s latest release of documents seized during the 2011 Osama bin Laden raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan is the latest attempt by the Trump administration to “conspire” against the Islamic Republic, warned Fars News Agency, an Iranian outlet affiliated with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (I.R.G.C.). “The newly published Abbottabad documents practically have nothing new but claims that have already been made. However, this time they are republished with a focus on Iran in an effort to advance an anti-Iran agenda,” it added. “New developments in the recent months indicate that the republication of the Abbottabad files is the beginning of a new scenario for plotting against Iran and adding up to allegations that Washington has consistently made against Tehran in the past.”

Fars further alleges that the C.I.A., Saudi Arabia and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington-D.C.-based think tank, have designed a project aimed at linking Iran to al Qaeda. The article describes C.I.A. Chief Mike Pompeo as an Iran hawk who, the article alleges, proved that he would pursue an aggressive against Iran by appointed Michael D’Andrea to run the agency’s Iran operations.  The article also claim that F.D.D. is anti-Iran and has lately “turned into the most influential nongovernmental organization at the White House.”

Fars also quotes Ned Price, a former C.I.A. official who later become a special assistant to President Barack Obama, as saying that the C.I.A. has released the files to strengthen the case against Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism. “These moves suggest he’s reverting to the Bush administration’s playbook: Emphasize terrorist ties as a rationale for regime change,” Price had tweeted.

Comment: On Wednesday, the C.I.A. announced the release of a large tranche of files that were obtained during the bin Laden raid in Pakistan. According to F.D.D.’s Long War Journal, the new documents contain important information about the complicated relationship between al Qaeda and Iran. Among the documents was a 19-page report that chronicles a history of Iran’s relationship with the terrorist group. The document says Iran offered al Qaeda members "money and arms and everything they need, and offered them training in Hezbollah camps in Lebanon, in return for striking American interests in Saudi Arabia." Previously, the U.S. government’s 9/11 Commission Report had said that Iranian officials held meetings with al Qaeda leaders in Sudan in early 1990s, and that al Qaeda fighters received training in Lebanon by Iran-linked Hezbollah militants. "The relationship between al-Qaida and Iran demonstrated that the Sunni-Shiite divisions did not necessarily pose an insurmountable barrier to cooperation in terrorist operations," the 9/11 Commission report had concluded.