A New York judge has ordered the state of Iran to pay more than US$10 billion in damages to the victims’ families who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, despite a lack of evidence that Tehran had any hand in attacks that were perpetrated by members of al-Qaida.
U.S. District Judge George Daniels said Iran has failed to provide evidence that it did not aid those who carried out the attacks. But Iran has not participated in any of the court proceedings and hearings.
Calling the ruling “absurd” and “an evil joke”, Hossein Sheikholeslam, a senior aide to Iran’s parliamentary speaker, told the Russian outlet Sputnik that “Iran never took part in any court hearings related to the events of September 11, 2001.”
It is important to note that none of the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11 were Iranian citizens. Fifteen were citizens of Saudi Arabia, while two were from the United Arab Emirates, and one each were from Egypt and Lebanon.
Even more controversially, the same judge ruled last year that Saudi Arabia, one of Washington’s key allies in the Middle East, did not provide any material support to the attackers and was cleared from paying billions of dollars to the victims’ families.
Judge Daniels also said that Saudi Arabia has sovereign immunity, which does not seem to be the case when it comes to Iran.
The ruling also shows the judge has limited knowledge of the relationship between Iran and al-Qaida.
The extremist group, and its late Saudi leader Osama bin Laden, adhere to the radical Salafi Sunni sect of Islam which is in fundamental disagreement with Shiite Islam, the form of Islam the Iranian state adheres to.
In fact, al-Qaida’s Islamic vision is closer to the Saudi kingdom’s religious identity as both see Shiites as apostates and non-Muslims. Such facts were put forward by Emad Abshenas, the Editor-in-Chief of Iran Press, duing an interview with Sputnik Persian.
“The people who committed those terrorist attacks were neither friends nor allies of Iran. They were our sworn enemies, members of al-Qaida, which considers Iran as their enemy.”
He added that all of the attackers were either Saudi citizens or residents “who lived in Saudi Arabia and enjoyed Saudi support. Therefore the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks had nothing to do with Iran.
This content was originally published by teleSUR.
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