Ahmadinejad: Obama reaction to his speech "insulting", "amateurish"


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  • Published 15:45 25.09.10
  • Latest update 15:45 25.09.10

Ahmadinejad calls Obama reaction to 9/11 comments 'insulting'

Iranian president tells reporters he is justified in questioning the motives behind the 2001 terror attack.

By DPA Tags: Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Barack Obama UN 9/11


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who recently accused the U.S. of involvement in the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, fired back at criticism waged against him saying Saturday that "the reaction [by U.S. President Barack Obama] was very amateurish … if there is nothing to hide, just present the relevant documents to the fact-finding team so that we can all together fight against the involved terrorists."

Ahmadinejad told reporters upon his arrival in Tehran from New York that "I just raised one simple question and it is not right that whoever poses a question is insulted afterwards."

The Iranian president said during his address before the United Nations General Assembly earlier this week that the September 11, 2001 terror attacks had been used against Muslims around the world, and used as a pretext for invading Afghanistan and Iraq.

"We should not allow this incident to be turned into another holy and untouchable issue," Ahmadinejad said - a reference to the Holocaust, which the Iranian president considers a pretext for Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands.

"The U.S. cannot raise a claim and issue a one-sided verdict, and based upon that, dictate its policies to other countries and accuse any state opposing the U.S. version of terrorism," he added.

Ahmadinejad said during a news conference on Friday that his remarks at the General Assembly were not meant to hurt the feelings of Americans, but rather to show that the U.S. government had used the tragedy to kill "tens of thousands of people in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Asked whether he should apologize for the remarks, Ahmadinejad shot back: "Why should the statements be perceived negatively? We have expressed our sympathies to those killed on September 11. We must now find the root causes."

Nearly 3,000 people died on September 11, 2001, including more than 2,700 in New York City when two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center.

Iran's state television network said in a statement that there was a "media competition" between Ahmadinejad and Obama in New York, which "Ahmadinejad had clearly won, and that the interview with BBC Persian "could not save Obama."

Since his arrival in the U.S. on Monday, Ahmadinejad held several exclusive interviews with the U.S. media, with the apparent aim of clarifying the Iranian stance to the American public.