US Vice President Mike Pence has been slammed by experts for peddling the “crazy conspiracy theory” that Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was behind the 9/11 attacks.
In a Twitter thread attempting to justify the assassination of Iranian Commander Qassem Soleimani, Pence tweeted that military official had “assisted in the clandestine travel of 10 of the 12 terrorists who carried out the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.”
Assisted in the clandestine travel to Afghanistan of 10 of the 12 terrorists who carried out the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) January 3, 2020
However Twitter users were quick to point out that the 9/11 Commission concluded that there was no evidence of Iranian involvement or prior knowledge of the attack, with no mention of Soleimani in the 600 page official report.
CNN’s security analyst Peter Bergen said that “pretty much everything in that tweet is not correct”, and called it a “crazy conspiracy theory”.
MSNBC’s “First Look” host Ayman Mohyeldin said: “It is a low point in American politics when you’re exploiting 9/11 to achieve a policy objective that is totally manipulated and let’s be clear, Mike Pence’s tweet is factually wrong.”
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He pointed out that the hijackers travelled through Iran to exploit their policy of not stamping the passports of Saudi nationals.
He continued: “To come around now and to say Iran was somehow complicit in 9/11 is the same as saying the United Arab Emirates government or the Saudi Arabian government were also complicit in 9/11, of which this administration has categorically rejected.”
He went on to describe Pence’s claims as a “deliberate and misleading lie.”
The September 11 attacks, which destroyed the World Trade Centre in New York and saw a plane flown into the US Defence headquarters the Pentagon in 2001, were orchestrated by terror group Al-Qaeda and carried about by 19 hijackers, 15 of which were Saudi nationals.
Tensions in the region have continued to rise after US President Donald Trump claimed he has 52 Iranian sites of cultural heritage targeted and has threatened to destroy them if Iran dares to retaliate, a tactic which is considered a war crime.