Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Iran/iraq

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Iran/iraq

Article excerpt

Iran Rejects Commission Accusations

On July 18, Iran rejected evidence of alleged ties to al-Qaeda contained in a report by the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to an article published in the Khaleej Times that day. "These reports are just propaganda against Iran...and [for the purpose of] justifying the U.S. failures in Iraq," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman HamidReza Asseii told the Teheran daily Hamshahri. Assefi also accused the U.S. of supporting al-Qaeda and the Taliban in their early days, and pointed to the irony of Washington's current harsh criticism of countries that allegedly support these same groups. The report accused Iran of offering to work with al-Qaeda after the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen that killed 17 sailors. It also suggests that Iran allowed known members of al-Qaeda to pass freely over its border with Afghanistan in 2000, "even going as far as to order border guards not to stamp the passports of known terrorists." There is no evidence, however, to suggest that Tehran had prior knowledge of plans to attack New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington, Time magazine said.

Soldiers Charged in Prisoner Drowning

On July 4, the Saudi Gazette reported the arrest of four American soldiers charged in the drowning death of an Iraqi detainee who, along with another man, was pushed off a bridge north of Baghdad. The night-time incident occurred on a bridge over the Tigris River in Samarra, 60 miles north of the Iraqi capital. …

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