Credit must be given to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. During his testimony before Britain’s Iraq inquiry, Blair addressed an issue considered taboo in many Western national security circles: the alliance between the Islamic Republic of Iran and al-Qaeda. “What nobody foresaw,” Blair said, “was that Iran would actually end up supporting al-Qaeda. The conventional wisdom was these two are completely different types of people because Iran is Shi’a, the al-Qaeda people are Sunni, and therefore, you know, the two would never mix. What happened in the end was that they did because they both had a common interest” in fighting the United States.
The Iran-al-Qaeda relationship is long and extensive. As with Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, the Iran-al-Qaeda alliance can best be understood simply by reanalyzing the very same documents that are said to contain evidence to the contrary. The 9/11 Commission, for example, states: “On November 4, 1998, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York unsealed its indictment of bin Laden, charging him with conspiracy to attack U.S. defense installations. The indictment also charged that al-Qaeda had allied itself with Sudan, Iran, and Hezbollah.”