By Jeff Stein
May 31, 2009 “CQ” May 28, 2009
Iran supplied U.S. diplomats with the location of Taliban military units in Afghanistan after the initial bombing campaign in the fall of 2001 failed to rout them, according to former officials in the George W. Bush administration.
The Islamic regime also gave the Bush administration “really substantive cooperation” on al Qaeda after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, at one point providing Washington with a list of 220 suspects and their whereabouts, said one official, former White House National Security Council Iran expert Hillary Mann Leverett.Leverett said that in December 2002, after the U.S. gave Tehran the names of five al Qaeda suspects it believed were in Iran, the regime found two, which they delivered to the U.S. air base at Baghram, in Afghanistan.But the budding relationship died on the vine.
Hardliners in the Bush administration prohibited Mann and Ryan Crocker, two of the principal diplomats dealing with the Iranians, from building on the contacts to pursue al Qaeda.