Bam slams 'hateful' A'jad
By LESTER BULL and LOU CHARBONNEAU
Last Updated: 10:16 AM,
September 25, 2010
President Obama yesterday condemned as hateful, offensive and inexcusable a suggestion by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of a US government role in the 9/11 attacks.
Obama, in an interview with the BBC Persian news service, lashed out at Ahmadinejad for the latest of what the White House called a long list of outrageous comments that would deepen Tehran's isolation from the international community.
"It was offensive. It was hateful," Obama said of Ahmadinejad's comments to the UN's General Assembly on Thursday, according to interview excerpts released by the White House. "And particularly for him to make the statement here in Manhattan, just a little north of Ground Zero, where families lost their loved ones . . . For him to make a statement like that was inexcusable." BBC Persian is broadcast in Farsi, the dominant language in Iran, allowing Obama to speak directly to the Iranian people.
Ahmadinejad, in his address at the General Assembly, said it was mostly US government officials and statesmen who believed al Qaeda carried out the terrorist atrocity. He said that another theory was that "some segments within the US government orchestrated the attack." Those remarks prompted a walkout by the US diplomats and many foreign delegations. Ahmadinejad continued to tout his anti-American conspiracy theories yesterday, calling the background to the attacks "suspicious" during a news conference. A senior White House official told reporters that the remarks were part of a pattern from Ahmadinejad -- including denial of the Holocaust -- that would further isolate the country and harm the interests of its people.
In his own address to the General Assembly Thursday prior to Ahmadinejad's, Obama reiterated the US position that the door to diplomacy with Iran remained open, but that Tehran must fulfill international obligations over its nuclear program.
Ahmadinejad said yesterday he was ready for talks with the international community, and that an Iranian official might meet next month with world powers pressuring the country to prove its nuclear program is purely peaceful. But he gave no ground on his 9/11 remarks in a feisty interview on Fox News Channel, in which he was asked how he could insult millions of Americans by saying "such an insane and nutty thing."
"Would you address your own president the same way? Would they ever allow you to?" replied Ahmadinejad.
Meanwhile, freed hiker Sarah Shourd said she met with Ahmadinejad in New York, and is hopeful that her meeting will lead to the release of two other hikers, including her fiancÚ, who remain jailed in Iran.
Obama is right to be outraged. Where does Ahmedinejad get off trashing the US in front of an international audience? That's Obama's job!