Dr. Reza Sadrolhosseini, an Iranian expert in West Asian affairs, said in an October 30, 2019 show on Channel 4 (Iran) that there is doubt regarding whether the late Islamic State (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was really killed by American forces and that Al-Baghdadi might be living comfortably in the United States or Europe. International affairs expert Dr. Mostafa Khoshchashm questioned the significance of the timing of the Americans' claim that they had killed Al-Baghdadi.
Following are excerpts:
Dr. Reza Sadrolhosseini: As you pointed out in the beginning, the entire thing was in accordance with a Hollywood scenario. It isn't clear what is going on behind the scenes. The truth is that Mr. Al-Baghdadi might currently be in one of America's states or in one of the European countries, living a comfortable life.
Terrorism in western Asia came from the Americans, is being supported by the Americans, and is being funded by the Saudis. Twelve hours after Mr. Al-Baghdadi was gone, they presented Al-Turkmani in his place... He is a very violent Baathist officer with a very dark record, and the Americans will continue to do what they do using the terror groups that they created. Hence, our conversation shouldn't be about [Al-Baghdadi's] secret shrouded death since there is a big shadow of doubt surrounding this death, and it is unclear whether he is alive or dead. Therefore, discussing this subject could not lead us to reasonable conclusions. It should be better for us to discuss on today's show subjects such as America's support for terrorism and the steps that the Saudi regime is taking by causing riots in the countries of the region. This way, we could provide useful content to our respected viewers.
Dr. Mostafa Khoshchashm: [Al-Baghdadi's] expiration date was up, and this does not contradict the scenario according to which perhaps everything that has happened in northwestern Syria and that was referred to as 'hunting for Al-Baghdadi' was actually a Hollywood scenario [in which] Al-Baghdadi isn't even present. In any event, it is nearly certain that he was killed before or after [the American operation]. As [my colleague] pointed out, the important [question] is why such a thing needed to take place specifically now."
Dr. Reza Sadrolhosseini: "The intellectual level of Americans today is such that they elected Mr. Trump. In the current situation, there may be those in America who will accept this scenario. However, most rational people in western Asia – as well as people who are familiar with American and Saudi actions in the region – will naturally not accept this [narrative].