Iran’s hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday called the official version of the Sept. 11 attacks a “big lie” used by the U.S. as an excuse for the war on terror, state media reported.
Ahmadinejad’s comments, made during an address to Intelligence Ministry staff, come amid escalating tensions between the West and Tehran over its disputed nuclear program. They show that Iran has no intention of toning itself down even with tighter sanctions looming because of its refusal to halt uranium enrichment.
“September 11 was a big lie and a pretext for the war on terror and a prelude to invading Afghanistan,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by state TV. He called the attacks a “complicated intelligence scenario and act.”
The Iranian president has questioned the official U.S. version of the Sept. 11 attacks before, but this is the first time he ventured to label it a “big lie.”
Meanwhile, over in Brazil,
Iran and Brazil appear likely to tie up in two areas of cooperation that could be game changers for the United States: banking and nuclear energy.
As Iran faces escalating pressure over its nuclear program it is trying to circumvent threat the threat of tougher sanctions by setting up banking operations abroad to keep its assets safe and trade flowing.
In Venezuela, Hugo Chavez with use situation this to take on an opportunity to slap it to Washington, and in Panama, where banking transparency is an ongoing concern, Iran has forged ties between local banks and Banco Internacional de Desarrollo CA, a subsidiary of Export Development Bank of Iran (EDBI), to give Iran indirect access to the US financial system.
EDBI has been Blacklisted by the US Treasury Department supporting Iran’s nuclear weapons program and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps directly.
The Blacklist affords the United States both the ability for sanctions on Americans dealing with these banks and a pressure tool against foreign firms interested in keeping their US assets safe.
Iran is working on a similar banking tactic in Brazil now according to sources close to the situation. When Mr. Ahmadinejad paid a visit to Brazil in May 2009, Iranian EDBI and Brazilian banking officials drafted a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that on its surface is just a agreement to facilitate trade between the two countries. But facilitating banking cooperation could mean a lot of things, including the establishment of Iranian banks in Brazil to bypass the US sanctions efforts.
It is believed that Brazil is setting up to direct most of its trade with Iran through the United Arab Emirates to avoid attracting negative attention, but Iranian banks on Brazilian soil would not be easy to hide and would not be ignored by the USA.
Just so you know.