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The BBC's Jonny Dymond in Washington
"The New Yorker claims Mr Freeh became suspicious of President Clinton"
 real 28k

The BBC's Paul Reynolds
"These suspects allege to be blaming Iran"
 real 28k

Suzanne Maloney, Brookings Institution
"It certainly parallels some of the reports that we have seen over the years"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 9 May, 2001, 19:01 GMT 20:01 UK
Iran denies US bombing link
Khobar Towers, Dhahran Saudi Arabia
The Khobar Towers was blown up in 1996
Iran has rejected as "baseless" allegations that it was involved in a 1996 explosion in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 United States servicemen and injured 500 more.

A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) list of suspects that has reportedly been given to the White House is alleged to name Iranian Government officials.

The New Yorker magazine reported on Monday that FBI Director Louis Freeh waited until former President Bill Clinton left office to hand the list over because he did not trust Mr Clinton to pursue the matter.

FBI Director Louis Freeh
Mr Freeh is reported to have a list of suspects
The FBI declined to comment on the reports, telling BBC News Online that it involved an "active case" that it was "aggressively pursuing".

In 1996, a lorry packed with explosives blew up outside the King Abdul Aziz Airbase, known as Khobar Towers, in Saudi Arabia.

Iran link

The New Yorker article reported that a suspect questioned in Saudi Arabia said an Iranian Revolutionary Guard official chose the target.

The official said he was acting on the orders of Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the report claimed.

Former US President Bill Clinton
Mr Clinton may have wanted to normalise relations with Iran
Iran's foreign ministry rejected the report on Wednesday as the work of "people worried because of the warming in relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia".

Mr Freeh is reported to have delayed handing the FBI list of suspects for indictment to the White House because he believed that Mr Clinton wanted to establish relations with a reforming Iran.

A former Clinton administration official denied the allegation.

Current US National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice declined to comment, but reiterated the US belief that Iran is an active sponsor of terrorism.

The US recently blocked an Iranian application to join the World Trade Organisation because Washington said Tehran sponsored terrorism.

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See also:

09 May 01 | Middle East
US blocks Iran WTO application
12 Oct 99 | Americas
Bomb suspect sent to Saudi
06 Oct 99 | Americas
Iran snubs US bomb investigation
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