Iranian president defends 9/11 remarks

08:36, September 25, 2010      

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Appearing amused his claim the 9/ 11 attacks on the United States may have been planned by Washington to further the cause of Israel and deflect attention from a failing society, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday defended them to reporters.

Less than 24-hours after he ignited in New York a firestorm of shock, incredulity and criticism at his suggestion before the General Assembly of the United Nations on Thursday he discussed his reasoning at a news conference in the Warwick Hotel, about 1.5 kilometers from UN Headquarters, in Midtown Manhattan.

The Iranian president reiterated his call for an inquiry into the attacks to see who was behind them.

The first question, after an opening statement in which he said belief in capitalism has come to an end and "it is in full deadlock," was about his remark many New Yorkers felt was incendiary.

"An event occurred," Ahmadinejad said referring to the attacks on the World Trade Center twin towers in New York, the Pentagon in Washington and a plane crash in Pennsylvania in which about 3,000 people died.

"In the pretext of that event two countries were invaded (Iraq and Afghanistan) and up until now hundreds of thousands of people have been killed as a result," the president said.

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