US Official Pressed to Say Iran Not Behind 9/11 as Congress Warns Against War

Hook says he's 'not a scholar,' but insists war would be legal

US special representative on Iran Brian Hook had a rough go in the House of Representatives today, where officials were pressing him to admit that Iran had nothing to do with 9/11 and he was really reluctant to answer.

Pressed on the matter, Hook’s first answer to the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee was that “I’m not a War Powers Act scholar.” Hook, however, has been one of the top Republican policy advisers for decades.

This was an issue because committee members were very keen to make the point that the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) after 9/11 does not authorize a US attack on Iran, and that there is subsequently not any legal basis to start such a war.

Hook resisted this suggestion, however, saying “I can only tell you that everything we would do would be lawful,” while finally conceding that Iran isn’t responsible for the deaths of Americans on 9/11.

Congress likely feels particular need to get that position out there because Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has repeatedly talked up claims of Iran being in league with al-Qaeda, claims for which no evidence exists, and which clearly seem intended to serve as a way to get the AUMF to cover a US attack on Iran.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of