This is a partial transcript from On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, January 30, 2004.
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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Mike, thank you. Joining us from Germany is Fox News Foreign Affairs analyst Mansoor Ijaz. Mansoor, before we get to the discussion about Iran, Mike Emanuel is reporting that new international flights to the United States may be targets, that Homeland Security is, indeed -- has an elevated concern. Can you give us any more information about that? Do you know anything?
MANSOOR IJAZ, FOX NEWS FOREIGN AFFAIRS ANALYST: I haven't heard. I mean, this is the first I've heard of it tonight. But clearly, Greta, the thing that we have to keep in mind is that Al Qaeda has never lost its fascination with the ability of converting a flying airplane into a flying missile. And so my view is that this is sort of a second or a third layer effect, in terms of who's running that part of the operation. These are not the same sophisticated people that were running the hijackings on 9/11. But it doesn't mean that they won't try again and again to try and get it, hoping that they'll catch us off guard somewhere along the way, and doing it around times and dates that are not obvious, in terms of what it is that they want to do.
VAN SUSTEREN: Since you're in Germany, right now ongoing in Germany is a trial, a terrorist trial related to 9/11. There's an Iranian defector who is going to be a witness for the German government. He claims that he -- that Iran knew about -- not necessarily masterminded or was part of it but knew about 9/11. What do you know about that?
IJAZ: Yes. This man's name -- last name, at least, is Zachary (ph), and he was brought out by American forces from Iraq, as a matter of fact. He was -- he actually turned himself in. He's a former, I believe, Iranian intelligence agent, if I remember correctly. And in a "Der Spiegel" article -- "Der Spiegel" is sort of the equivalent of "Newsweek" or something like that here in Germany. The transcripts of the first days of the trial show that he very clearly indicated that the -- that Usama bin Laden had informed the Iranian mullahs at the highest levels that 9/11 was about to take place and that, in fact, there were certain elements of Iran's Revolutionary Guard that may have been involved in both funding, as well as training some of the 9/11 hijackers.
Now, I don't know all the details because I haven't read the full article yet, but it is my understanding that there was some very incriminating and damning evidence in what he laid forth.
VAN SUSTEREN: What's also sort of interesting, Mansoor, is Zachary apparently has been discounted by the United States, but the German government obviously thinks he's important, credible enough to make him a witness in a terrorist trial. But he also said that he went to an American embassy in Azerbaijan (search) and tried to notify the U.S. before 9/11 that this was -- something was going to happen around September 10, and -- you know, so that's unusual.
IJAZ: Yes. Yes, it is. I think, you know, part of the problem here is that we in the United States have to accept the fact that our intelligence community, when it's faced with certain revelations of what it didn't get right has a tendency to then pooh-pooh whoever it is that is trying to put the information out. I think this guy is not -- shouldn't be discredited or -- you know, his testimony shouldn't be thrown out with the bathwater, as they say. We probably need to analyze very carefully. And the thing is that, apparently, he's got evidentiary trails with him. It's not just that he's just giving, you know, his own personal testimony, he's also got some evidentiary trails that the Germans have with them in their trial.
VAN SUSTEREN: And of course, it would be very easy to corroborate, if it's true, that he did go to an American embassy and try to tip us off that 9/11 was coming. But let me shift gears...
IJAZ: You bet.
VAN SUSTEREN: ... for one second to Iran. Usama bin Laden -- is he likely in Iran? Is he in Iran?
IJAZ: Well, as you know, Greta, I reported here and with Brit Hume last year that around the 23rd of October was the last time there was an eyewitness sighting of him. Since that time, I have not been able to get any more detailed information, other than the fact that he is, in fact, helping the Gulbaddin Hekmatyar (ph), the Afghan warlord, to try and launch some sort of a wintertime offensive of their own.
Now, having said that, there are some very interesting developments diplomatically taking place in Washington these days, the first of which was that last week at the Woodrow Wilson Institute (search), they hosted the Iranian United Nations ambassador. Now, we all know that he would not be able to travel outside of New York. There's a 25-mile limit for those people who are on the terrorist-sponsoring nations. He wouldn't have been allowed to travel unless the State Department and some other very high-level Bush administration officials had approved the visit.
So that led to an announcement today of a congressional delegation getting ready to go over to Iran. I think this indicates that Iran has cut a deal with the United States. We don't know what the details are yet, but I'd bet you dollars to doughnuts that if you put that together with the segment you and I did two nights ago, where we talked about the springtime offensive of U.S. forces trying to catch Al Qaeda leaders along the Afghan-Pakistani border, you can give the baseball analogy that the Iranians are the pitcher, the ball is the Al Qaeda leadership, including maybe Bin Laden and Zawahiri, and the catcher's mitt is the American forces waiting along the Afghan-Pakistani border. And the Iranians have agreed to push these guys out in return for the Americans dropping their insistence on the Iranian mullahs being removed from power.
VAN SUSTEREN: And I hope you're right, and I hope we also get Bin Laden in the mix. Mansoor, thank you.
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