The reaction in Iran to the death of Osama bin Laden covers a wide spectrum from disbelief to the accusation that the al-Qaeda terror chief was actually a puppet for Israel and the United States.
An Israeli news agency, Ynetnews, reported that one Iranian MP believed Osama was a spy for the Jewish State.
Ismail Kosari, a member of the Iranian parliament's Security and Foreign Policy Commission and close confidant of Ahmadinejad, reportedly said: “[Osama] was just a puppet controlled by the Zionist regime in order to present a violent image of Islam after the September 11 attacks.”
Kosari added: Bin Laden's death reflects the passing of a temporary US pawn, and symbolizes the end of one era and the beginning of another in American policy in the region.”
Another member of the commission, Javad Jahangirzadeh, said the US carried out terrorist attacks with Osama’s help; and that Osama was killed to prevent this information from leaking out.
The West has been very pleased with bin Laden's operations in recent years, Jahangirzadeh said. Now the West was forced to kill him in order to prevent a possible leak of information he had, information more precious than gold.
According to a survey by PBS, one conservative Iranian website linked to parliament member Ahmad Tavakoli doubted that Osama was really dead citing a photo that appeared to have been modified (this report was likely referring to the fake photo of Osama that spread throughout the internet).
Another news website connected to the Mayor of Tehran, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, speculated that the US had intentionally kept Osama alive for years in order to justify the war in Afghanistan.
The state-controlled Fars agency claimed that Osama created by the West and that he was also a close ally of Saudi Arab intelligence, especially Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, head of Saudi spy network.
Iran’s official news agency, IRNA (which is closely linked to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) used Osama’s death to opine that the US no longer has a reason to remain in Afghanistan or anywhere else in the Middle East.
Some Iranian news outlets, including Mashregh News, which is linked to the country’s security and intelligence networks, believe the killing of Osama was a ploy to rejuvenate the faltering administration of Barack Obama and to kick-start his 2012 election campaign.
Just as we cannot trust what the U.S. officials told us about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, we cannot also be sure about the death of Bin Laden, said Merh, a news agency run by Islamic hardliners.
Iran’s antipathy to Osama may be partially explained by the fact that Iran is a Shia Muslim state while Osama was a Sunni Muslim, whose forces killed many Islamic Republic's Revolutionary Guard in eastern Iran and also murdered Shias in Iraq.
Palash has worked as a business journalist for 21 years in New York.