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Iran Shuts Down News Website for Disclosing Taliban’s Former Leader’s Moves | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Taliban former Leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour

London- Did Iran provide information for the United States on the movements of Taliban’s former Leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan on May 21?

Speculations which circulated for several months suggested that Mullah’s car was targeted by a missile in less than 20 minutes after his arrival to Pakistan from Iran.

This matter reappeared following the court session on Sunday in Tehran against the Iranian site “Jahan News,” which was the first to reveal Mullah’s presence in Tehran.

The conservative website was shut down in June after the court issued its verdict on charges of disclosing secrets.

The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs filed the lawsuit, accusing the website of revealing confidential information by publishing the news of Mansour’s presence in Iran for several months and him convening meetings with Iranian officials.

The website was also accused of allegedly running “false stories” that pose a “threat to national security.”

The jury convicted the site in the media court, which submitted the accusations filed by the ministry.

Notably, the court refused to look into another case against the same website, but this time it was filed by the office of the Attorney General, who accused the website of publishing “false stories.”

On June 5, Jahan News published an article that claimed that Mansour stayed in Iran for two months and left the country one week prior to his death.

The article claimed that he had “discussions with various bodies.” The talks centered on the Taliban’s commitment “to prevent ISIS” from expanding, “especially in Afghanistan’s northeastern border and the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border.”

For his part, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking in Myanmar, said Mansour “posed a continuing imminent threat to U.S. personnel in Afghanistan, Afghan civilians, Afghan security forces and members of the U.S. and NATO coalition.

He said the air strike on Mansour sent “a clear message to the world that we will continue to stand with our Afghan partners.”

“Peace is what we want. Mansour was a threat to that effort,” Kerry said.

“He also was directly opposed to peace negotiations and to the reconciliation process. It is time for Afghans to stop fighting and to start building a real future together.”

Kerry said the leaders of both Pakistan and Afghanistan were notified of the air strike but he declined to elaborate on the timing of the notifications, which he said included a telephone call from him to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.