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President Barack Obama condemns Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's UN speech

Friday, September 24, 20100 komentar

President Barack Obama condemns Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's UN speech ; US President Barack Obama has described as "hateful" and "offensive" the claim by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that most people believed the US government was behind the 9/11 attacks. Mr Obama was speaking exclusively to BBC Persian television, which broadcasts to Iran and Afghanistan.

Mr Ahmadinejad's speech at the UN General Assembly triggered a walkout. Mr Obama said it was inexcusable to make such remarks in New York itself, where most of the victims of 9/11 died. Nevertheless, he reaffirmed America's commitment to reach out to the people of Iran.

The Iranian president suggested the US government could have "orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy, and its grips on the Middle East, in order to save the Zionist regime". Mr Ahmadinejad usually refers to Israel as the "Zionist regime".

Mr Obama also said Afghanistan would not be abandoned, even if the US began cutting its forces there next year. Relations between Iran and the US have been strained over Tehran's controversial nuclear activities. The US fears Iran's uranium enrichment programme is a cover to build atomic weapons, a charge Iranian officials deny.

In July, President Obama signed into law new sanctions against Iran intended to impede the development of its nuclear programme. The measures, which penalise foreign companies that trade with Iran, were overwhelmingly approved by US Congress.

Mr Obama said the sanctions would strike "at the heart" of Iran's ability to fund and develop nuclear programmes. The bill targets those firms that supply Iran's Revolutionary Guards or contribute to the country's energy industry, including foreign companies that provide finance, insurance, or shipping services.
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