Iranian president defends 9/11 remarks (3)

08:36, September 25, 2010      

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U.S. President Barack Obama said Friday the Iranian leader's accusations were "offensive" and "hateful."

Ahmadinejad told reporters, "We are trying to defend the rights of the American people here in fact so that their money is not used for killing people in Iraq and Afghanistan, so that their children do not end up in locations where they do not understand and must not go to in the first place to die."

"Do you think that these are bad statements to make and why should you be upset over it?" he continued. "Of course if the U.S, government is upset, yeah, I can see why because the U.S. government expects everyone to follow it and to follow its decisions."

Ahmadinejad accused the reporter, a longtime New York resident, of misrepresenting how the people of New York feel.

"The people of New York are .. realistic people," the president said. "Almost in all the polls over 80 percent of the American people consider the 9/11 tragedy a suspicious event."

Over the course of more than an hour and a half with members of the media, Ahmadinejad, sitting on a dais with four other people, including a woman wearing traditional Iranian black clothing, fielded reporters questions on the 9/11 inquiry, Tehran nuclear energy program, UN Security Council sanctions levied on it for lack of cooperation and the possible resumption of negotiations on the issue.

Asked about the effect of sanctions, he replied, "sanctions have no impact on the Iranian people" and his nation was relied on its "indigent" resources.

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