The announcement that U.S. forces had killed Al-Qaeda commander Osama bin Laden met with contradictory reactions in Iran. Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi and Majlis National Security Committee chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi expressed doubt over the U.S. account of events, while Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast called on the U.S. to withdraw from Afghanistan immediately, saying that since it had killed bin Laden, it had no justification for remaining there.
Majlis members and Iranian media outlets discussed the issue of why the U.S. had chosen to assassinate bin Laden at the present time, reiterating various conspiracy theories – the 9/11 attacks had been planned by the U.S. and carried out by its agent Osama bin Laden in order to falsely present Islam as violent; Washington had been forced to assassinate bin Laden out of fear that he would leak information regarding his collaboration with the West; or bin Laden had been the "puppet" of the Zionist regime in its campaign against Islam.
The daily Kayhan, which is close to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, claimed that the U.S., after a decade of failure in Afghanistan, had now killed bin Laden in order to secure President Obama's reelection, and noted that Obama's slogan for his upcoming presidential campaign would be "fighting terror." The paper added that the assassination was also aimed at thwarting the popular uprisings in the Middle East and perpetuating U.S. and Zionist control over the Muslim nations.
Senior Officials Doubt Bin Laden's Death
Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi questioned the authenticity and reliability of the U.S.'s recent announcement regarding the death of Osama bin Laden. He said that the report was suspicious since the U.S. claimed to have buried bin Laden at sea, and did not permit a neutral party to confirm his death.
Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, also raised doubts about the U.S. reports and claimed that, in the past, it had made similar announcements of his death. He said that even if the U.S. had killed bin Laden, it was but a small accomplishment for the U.S. after a decade of aggression in Afghanistan.
Foreign Ministry: There Is No Justification for the U.S. Presence in the Region
At a press conference in Doha, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said: "Following bin Laden's assassination, the U.S. [no longer] has any pretext to remain in the region... If the U.S. invaded the region under such a pretext, the problem has ended [with bin Laden's assassination] and the Americans would be wise to pull out of the region immediately and stop slaughtering the peoples of the region." Salehi asked: "The question now is, who was bin Laden, and is what we read in the press and books about his relationship with the CIA correct?"
In a similar vein, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said: "Following bin Laden's assassination, the U.S. and its allies have no excuse to stay in Afghanistan." He said that the assassination "clearly shows that there is no need for a major military deployment to counter a single man" and that "Iran, as a victim of terrorism, strongly condemns any act of terror in the world including organized terrorism carried out by the Zionist regime."
Majlis Members: Bin Laden Was Killed after Fulfilling His Role in the U.S.'s Islamophobia Campaign
Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission member Javad Jahangirzadeh said that the U.S. was compelled to assassinate bin Laden out of fear that he would leak classified and sensitive information, after serving a role as a key figure in displaying a violent image of Islam as part of the U.S. campaign of Islamophobia, a campaign the U.S. believed was now complete.
Another commission member, Esmail Kowsari, said that bin Laden had been "a puppet of the Zionist regime used to portray a violent image of Islam." He said that "with the announcement of bin Laden's assassination, the U.S., in fact, announced to the world that its history of using this terrorist for [its own means] had ended."
Kayhan: Bin Laden's Assassination – A U.S. Attempt to Thwart the Revolutions in the Region
The daily Kayhan, which is close to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, claimed that the U.S., which was responsible for Al-Qaeda's establishment and the 9/11 attacks, had assassinated its mercenary bin Laden because "his cover had been blown" and he could no longer act in its service, and that he had now been replaced by his second in command, Ayman Al-Zawahiri. The daily said that although the U.S. could have done so earlier, it had chosen to assassinate bin Laden at the present time in order to provide President Obama with a winning hand in the upcoming presidential elections; to give the U.S. an excuse to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, should it decide to do so, following a decade of failure; and to provide a new pretext for the U.S. "war on terror," which, in fact, was aimed at suppressing the uprisings in the region, which had left itself and Israel in a quagmire in the Middle East.
The daily went on to say that the U.S. was now at an all-time low after the regimes associated with it had been toppled and as a result of the Islamic awakening amongst the Arab peoples. It said that these had shifted the balance of power in the region to the detriment of the U.S. and to the benefit of Iran. The U.S., it said, had hoped that bin Laden's assassination would divert public attention in the region from the Islamic awakening to the war on terror and "slow or stop the waves of revolutions by the Muslim nations against their rulers... [who are] strategic allies of the U.S."
Kayhan also claimed that "the 9/11 [attacks] were carried out by the American administration, and this has been proven by solid evidence. Bin Laden and his terrorist organization, Al-Qaeda, emerged through American funding and guidance in order to harm the world of Islam. Therefore, the Obama administration's killing of bin Laden should be considered a step toward reviving [its] campaign of Islamophobia, which declined following the Islamic popular revolutions and uprisings in the region."
The paper added: "It is clear to all that terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are the children of the American CIA and the Pakistani ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence], and were fed by Saudi financial support... The establishment of a Middle East based on Islamic principles and beyond the control of America and the Zionist regime has caused the U.S. to present a new scenario revolving around Bin Laden's killing and a new mendacious plan for 'the war on terror.'"
According to the paper, "Just as Al-Qaeda, over the years, was used by the U.S. as a means for confronting the world of Islam, the Americans are now hoping to benefit from Bin Laden's death... By focusing on Al-Qaeda, bin Laden, and terrorism, [the U.S.] will provide itself with a pretext for fighting terrorism and possible future terrorist attacks, as part of their desire to suppress the uprisings and revolutions in the region."
It also asserted that the war on terror had not ended with bin Laden's assassination and called for "drying up the roots of Al-Qaeda's ideology, whose origins are in Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism, and Salafism." It added: "America's spurious war on terror and its campaign of Islamophobia are aimed at marginalizing the pure Islam, preventing the Islamic awakening, and providing [the U.S.] with access to oil resources." Nonetheless, the daily concluded, "one cannot deny the reality that the future of the Middle East will be without U.S. or Israeli control."
Cartoon: U.S. Assassinates Bin Laden in Order to Divert Attention from Revolutions in Arab World
Source: Fars (Iran), May 5, 2011
 Fars (Iran), May 4, 2011.
 Fars (Iran), May 2, 2011.
 IRNA (Iran), May 2, 2011.
 Press TV (Iran), May 2, 2011.
 Press TV (Iran), May 2, 2011.
 Mehr (Iran), May 2, 2011.
 Kayhan (Iran), May 4, 2011.