Iran's Minister of Intelligence Heydar Moslehi is once again contending that Osama bin Laden was not killed by U.S. forces but in fact had died from disease some time ago.
"The U.S. claims of killing Osama bin Laden are unfounded," said Moslehi, according to IRNA.
He added: "According to intelligence documents, bin Laden passed away some years ago due to an ailment, but White House leaders have whipped up a media storm in order to mislead the American people and gain ground in the elections." Moslehi said the White House has provided no proof of its claims.
It was a rehash of the allegations Moslehi first voiced on May 8, when he said his ministry possessed "reliable evidence" that U.S. forces did not in fact kill bin Laden.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad echoed Moslehi's statemen ts on May 15, accusing the U.S. of exploiting its account of bin Laden's killing as a propaganda tool.
On May 2, 2011 the United States announced that Osama bin Laden was killed by the Special Forces attack on his residence in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Bin Laden's death was confirmed by Al-Qaeda on May 6. The group spoke out against Pakistan for allowing the attack on bin Laden and rallied supporters to rebel against the Pakistani government.
The White House announced it will not release any pictures of the attack in order to avoid instigating retaliation by extremists. However, it insists that DNA tests prove it was bin Laden who was killed in the Abbottabad attack.
Many critics both within the U.S. and abroad have questioned Washington's decision to bury bin Laden in the Sea of Oman, saying it casts even more suspicion on American claims. / zamaneh