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Iran is no surprise
By Michael D. Evans
The much-anticipated 9/11 Commission report has now been released, and details evidence that 8 to10 of the September 11 high-jackers passed through Iran a year prior to the attack on the United States.
The New York Times reports that Iranian officials have instructed border guards on Iran's western border with Afghanistan not to stamp the passports of Saudi citizens who may have been traveling to and from al-Qaida training camps in Afghanistan. An Iranian stamp in a passport would have caused closer scrutiny by U.S. immigration officials.
Is this really a surprise? Iran has harbored, financed, and cooperated with terrorists who have attacked the "Great Satan" since June 1985, when the United States began an embargo against Iran because of its sponsorship of international terrorism. These sanctions have been in place for more than a decade, now, squeezing the Iran economy, which suffers from inflation running as high as fifty percent.
Iran has been working day and night to stir up trouble throughout the Gulf region. Hezbollah factions have been infiltrated, and the seeds of a tremendous explosion on the world scene have been sown.
The world was shocked when Israel captured the Palestinian ship, the Karine-A, in the Red Sea on January 4, 2002. The ship was loaded with Katyusha rockets with a maximum range of 12 miles, assault rifles, anti-tank missiles, mines, ammunition and explosives. Most of the weapons were Iranian.
The truth is that Iran was flying up to three jumbo jets laden with military supplies to Syria each month. The majority of the supplies were being ferried directly to Hezbollah guerillas for the war against Israel. At the same time, the Clinton administration was socializing with Syrian president, Bashar Assad.
On November 13, 1995, an Iranian-backed Islamic organization known as the Movement for Islamic Change claimed responsibility for the bombing of the Saudi National Guard at Riyadh, in which five American servicemen and two Indian workers were killed. This was the first of two promised attacks. On June 3, 1996, Iran vowed to resist the embargo imposed by the U.S., and then on June 9, Iran's spiritual leader called for Iran's military to prepare for war.
Ten days later, the U.S. House of Representatives cast a unanimous vote in favor of imposing tighter sanctions on Iran. The principle was added to pending legislation. The intent of the bill was to cripple Iran's and Libya's ability to continue their support of international terrorism. A week later, on June 20-23, Teheran hosted an international terrorism conference during which it was announced that attacks against U.S. interests would be stepped up in the coming months.
Two days later, on June 25, the truck bombing of the military housing camp in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, took place, claiming the lives of nineteen U.S. airmen and wounding hundreds of others. The Islamic Movement for Change, which had already claimed credit for the Ridyadh bombing, took credit for this attack as well.
On July 16, the United States levied its version of sanctions against Iran and Libya. On the following day, July 17, the Movement for Islamic Change sent a chilling fax to the London-based Arab newspaper, Al-Hayat, warning:
That fax, intercepted by overseas operatives, was forwarded to U.S. agencies.
Mike Evans is a Middle East analyst, a New York Times bestselling author, and the author of The American Prophecies (August 2004, Warner Faith, a Division of Time Warner Book Group).
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