On 9-27-13, as a follow-up to president Obama's statement concerning Iran, I issued the following request :
1 Please research and verify that the supreme leader has in fact issued a fatwa…"Obama, who campaigned at some political risk in 2008 on a pledge to directly engage Iran’s leadership, said there were signs to be optimistic that a resolution could be reached. He cited a religious order issued in January by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, against the development of nuclear weapons."
2. Several years ago, the State Department claimed that such a fatwa had been issued by the supreme leader. Hillary Clinton and Fareed Zakaria both proclaimed this as fact. I could not locate any such Fatwa. I initiated searches through various think tanks and government agencies who I was then associated with. This intensive search indicated that no such fatwa had been issued. This was then publicly reported and I circulated these reports.
ARTICLE AS OF 9-30-13 THERE IS NO EVIDENCE DOCUMENTING THE CLAIM BY U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA THAT IRANIAN SUPREME LEADER ALI KHAMENEI ISSUED A FATWA, OR RELIGIOUS EDICT, AGAINST THE DEVELOPMENT OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS.
There is no evidence documenting the claim by U.S. President Barack Obama that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa, or religious edict, against the development of nuclear weapons, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
“I do believe that there is a basis for resolution. Iran’s supreme leader has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons,” Obama said during a White House press conference on Sept. 27, following a call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
But MEMRI, in a report issued Sept. 30, said that it has never found evidence confirming the fatwa.
“MEMRI has conducted in-depth research with regard to this ‘fatwa’ and has published reports demonstrating that it is a fiction,” MEMRI said.
MEMRI claims that the fatwa is an eight-year-old hoax perpetrated by Iranian diplomats and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“Iranian regime officials’ presentation of statements on nuclear weapons attributed to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as a fatwa, or religious edict, when no such fatwa existed or was issued by him, is a propaganda effort to propose to the West a religiously valid substitute for concrete guarantees of inspectors’ access to Iran’s nuclear facilities,” MEMRI wrote in a previous report in April 2012.
This past July, MEMRI issued a detailed list documenting 493 fatwas by Ayatollah Khamenei dating back to 2004.