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Ahmadinejad Riffs on Bin Laden and Zionists

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claims the targeted killing on Bin Laden was an election ploy; blames 'Zionists' for world's ills.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 5/19/2011, 5:17 PM / Last Update: 5/19/2011, 7:09 PM

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed Sunday Al Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden was in US custody for "some time" before he was killed by the American military, Gulf News reports.

"I have exact information that Bin Laden was held by the American military for some time... until the day they killed him he was a prisoner held by them," Ahmadinijad said in a live interview on Iranian state television.

"Please pay attention. This is important. He was held by them for some time. They made him sick and while he was sick they killed him," Ahmadinejad added.

He accused US President Barack Obama of cynically using the Al Qaeda leader's death for "political gain."

"What the US president has done is for domestic political gain. In other words, they killed him so Obama could be reelected and now they are seeking to replace him with someone else," Ahmadinejad said without elaborating.

Bin Laden was shot dead during a May 2 targeted killing conducted by US Navy SEALs near Islamabad, Pakistan.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Ahmadinejad said the "global hegemony" is going downhill, adding the U.S. and the Zionist regime are "on the verge of collapse." 

 
The Iranian president said the 'Zionist regime' is the 'foundation' of the global hegemonic system, and that if it collapses, so will the domination of the world by U.S. and its allies will break down. 
 
Ahmadinejad also said the 'Zionists' are behind all brutalities and terrorism in most parts of the world, including South America and Africa. Previously, Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi also cast doubt on Bin Laden's death, saying there were 'ambiguities' over the way he was killed.

"The Americans said they threw his body in the sea. Why did they not allowed an independent expert to examine the body to say if it was Bin Laden or not?" Vahidi said.

Some observers note Ahmadinejad and Vahidi are at odds over Bin Laden's death, with the Iranian President claiming he has "specific information" about its circumstances, while Vahidi insinuates it never occurred.