Iran: Bin Laden died long before U.S. raid
TEHRAN (BNO NEWS) -- Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi on Sunday evening claimed the Iranian government has evidence that al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden died of illness and not during a U.S. raid earlier this month.
Bin Laden, who is believed to have ordered the attacks of September 11, 2001, was killed on May 1st during a secret U.S. mission at a compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad. The leadership of al-Qaeda has since confirmed the death of Bin Laden.
"Why does the U.S. military and security services refuse to show Bin Laden's body and why did they drop it in the sea if they had really arrested and killed him?" Moslehi said after a cabinet meeting on Sunday evening, according to Iran's ISNA news agency.
U.S. President Barack Obama explained earlier that he did not want the photos to be used as a propaganda tool. "It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool," Obama said. "That's not who we are. We don't trot out this stuff as trophies."
But the Iranian Minister argued that Iran also showed Abdul Malik Rigi, the former leader of terrorist organization Jundallah, when it captured him. "We showed Rigi on TV when we captured him and we aired an interview with him," Moslehi said. Rigi was later executed.
"We have precise information that Bin Laden died some time ago and is no more alive and we have documents to prove this issue," Moslehi said, without detailing what evidence the Iranian government has to support its claim.
The Iranian Minister added that the United States fabricated its claims to overshadow media coverage of domestic problems in the country.
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