The following are excerpts from a debate on Iran's Jaam-e Jam 1 TV about 9/11, with filmmaker Nader Talebsadeh and senior correspondent Bizhan Nowbaveh Vatan. The debate aired on September 13, 2005. TO VIEW THIS CLIP, VISIT: http://memritv.org/clip/en/868.htm.
Host: "9/11 left many unclear issues, such as: How come the thousands of Jews in the towers decided not to come [to work that day]? Was the Pentagon hit by a plane or a missile? A lot has been said about these issues. At that moment, on that day, and even in that year, public opinion was incapable of accepting these unclear issues.
"Now we are being taken back to the past. French TV is not letting it go. After Thierry Meyssan's book The Big Lie, it seems that as things become clearer, the obscurities only increase. You, as a documentary filmmaker... Documentary filmmakers are now dealing with 9/11. The filmmaker enters the fray, and watches the footage of that day frame by frame. What do you, as a documentary filmmaker, think about it?"
Nader Talebzadeh, filmmaker: "In the name of Allah the Compassionate, the Merciful, 9/11 is a good starting point for clarifying any matter in today's world. But from whose perspective? From the perspective of a Muslim or non-Muslim filmmaker? This is very important. 9/11 has not yet been dealt with by a Muslim filmmaker. They have not yet been allowed to enter this field. Al-Jazeera will probably not make a film about it, because the Qatari government is somehow coordinated with CNN. It somehow constitutes a base of America."
Bizhan Nowbaveh Vatan, senior correspondent: "It has no motive to do it."
Talebzadeh: "Right. So who would want to make such a film? If we want to do this, it would be a very great challenge... A very big struggle, if we can do it at all. There are very important questions about 9/11 that could be developed very well by a Muslim filmmaker.
"From my point of view, it is unlikely that the French would want to deal with the question of how 4,000 Jewish workers from the same building were absent simultaneously. In other words, 4,000 people were contacted and were asked not to come to the building that day. Somebody needs to resolve that unclear issue first.
"Somebody also needs to resolve the following unclear issue: Who were the passengers of the planes that hit the buildings? Where are their names? Who were the passengers who hit the Pentagon?"
Host: "The passenger list was never published."
Talebzadeh: "Somebody needs to explain: A building called Building No. 7 had almost 60 stories, and it did not catch fire..."
Host: "How did it collapse?"
Talebzadeh: "Yes, this was a building made entirely of steel. In the 100 years since they started to construct steel buildings, there has been no precedent for a steel building catching fire and collapsing. How come, six hours after the second tower collapsed, this building collapsed within six seconds, without having caught fire? It collapsed in a controlled manner."
Host: "The firefighters who were interviewed – it was broadcast on French TV – said they clearly heard a few explosions."
Talebzadeh: "In fact, this was a controlled demolition. These are important questions. Why did the U.S. president announce that same day that he wants the blame to somehow be placed on Iraq? What does this mean? Afghanistan had not yet been occupied. How come, two days later, plans were raised to attack Afghanistan and Iraq? In such an event you are not even supposed to know who you are. You're supposed to be in total shock. These are big questions. They are even greater than in the Kennedy assassination. Inquiries are now being made into this matter. There were very unclear matters in this affair, which were never resolved.
"The dimensions of destruction on September 11 are apocalyptic. During the week of 9/11, Lance Morrow published an article in Time magazine. He said: 'In fact, the temple of the West has collapsed. The cathedral of the West has collapsed.' Who brought down this cathedral? Surely two or three people, who could not even fly a crop duster, could not have led a 747 plane into the Pentagon at a low altitude."
Vatan: "During 9/11, Mr. Khadem Al-Melle and I were in New York. He was slightly further away. I was right next to the events. I could not believe what I was seeing there. Nor could I believe the news we were hearing. I saw that at first they said five or six planes were hijacked. Then it became four. Afterwards they said that out of the four planes, two had hit the WTC..."
Host: "And then one crashed in Pennsylvania."
Vatan: "As for Pennsylvania, which is near Camp David... One plane came and hit the Pentagon, and you mentioned that this was not clear at all. If this was such a large plane, like the 767 which hit the Pentagon, is that at all possible? Could it have flown so low? This is another matter.
"As for the fourth plane, it was announced that U.S. Air Force pilots had managed to hit it with a missile. I myself heard on ABC, CBS, MSNBC, and CNN... This is documented. But on the other hand, some of the media channels immediately said that if there was a need to intercept a passenger plane, this surely requires a direct order from the U.S. president. They themselves said that the U.S. president was in the shelter. This created a problem. For the U.S. government, this created a new crisis. They quickly changed the scenario. No footage was broadcast from the fourth plane, except for the firefighters, who were seen from a distance. You didn't see any images from there."
Host: "They said there was a confrontation inside the plane."
Vatan: "Ah, well said. They said that there was a confrontation inside the plane, and that one of the passengers even talked to his wife and said that they were going to confront the hijackers. This man's wife received a prize and a medal at the annual ceremony in Congress.
"What you said about the absence of 4,000 Jews from the WTC… After all, this is the world center of the Jews. Everybody knows that. If we say the Zionist lobby is based on the economy of America, and that these [towers] were the symbol of America's economy – where were those Jews, and on a Tuesday no less?
"Yesterday I had an interview. You probably heard that Muhammad 'Atta – the leader of these terrorist incidents... It was said that six months after the events and after all the airlines and flight schools were closed, especially to Muslims, an invitation reached Muhammad 'Atta's home. That is what was reported in the American press. The invitation informed him that he had been accepted for flight training."
Vatan: "Exactly six months after 9/11.
"Nader probably knows better than me. Much of what you see about the strength of American police, the Pentagon, and the army are courtesy of Hollywood."
Host: "Yes, Nader said this morning that the New Orleans Police was so afraid that..."
Talebzadeh: "They ran away."