Iran TerrorismNCRI: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards masterminded Khobar Towers attack

NCRI: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards masterminded Khobar Towers attack


Iran Focus

London, 28 Aug – Iran’s main opposition coalition the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) says the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) masterminded the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing that killed 19 American servicemen in Saudi Arabia.

The pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat said on Wednesday that Riyadh had apprehended Ahmed al-Mughassil, a member of the Iran-backed Saudi Hezbollah group linked to the attack.

According to the NCRI, which says it obtained its information from the sources of the main Iranian opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI/MEK) inside the country, the bombing in the city of Dhahran was a joint operation of the Iran’s Intelligence Ministry (MOIS) and the IRGC.

At a press conference in Washington DC on 16 April 1997, the NCRI said that the Khobar Tower bombing was ordered and planned by the IRGC-QF.

The NCRI detailed the chain of command that was implicated.

According to the NCRI information, the Qods Force’s 6th Corps “that is responsible for carrying out terrorist and subversive operations in the Persian Gulf region” carried out the operation.

“IRGC General Ahmad Sharifi, the commander of the Qods Force 6th Corps directly oversaw the operation. Sharifi’s immediate superior was IRGC Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi, commander of the Qods Force at the time. Vahidi was later appointed as Defense Minister”, the NCRI said in a report on its website on Thursday.

“The decisions for terrorist operations, including the Khobar Tower bombings, were made at the Iranian regime’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) chaired by at the time by the regime’s President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani”.

“The current president of the regime Hassan Rouhani was at the time the Secretary of the SNSC and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s representative in this body”, the report said.

Former FBI director Louis Freeh, who personally oversaw the U.S. investigation of the attack, later confirmed Iran’s role. Writing in the Wall Street Journal on June 23, 2006, Freeh said “the Saudi Security Service had arrested six of the bombers after the attack. As FBI agents sifted through the remains of Building 131 in 115-degree heat, the bombers admitted they had been trained by the Iranian external security service (IRGC) in the Beka Valley, and received their passports at the Iranian Embassy in Damascus, along with $250,000 cash for the operation from IRGC Gen. Ahmad Sharifi”.

“We later learned that senior members of the Iranian government, including Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), and the Spiritual Leader’s office had selected Khobar as their target and commissioned the Saudi Hezbollah to carry out the operation”, he added.

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