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Obama condemns claims that US was behind 9/11

US President brands claims made by Ahmadinejad as “hateful”, while the Iranian President goes on Fox News to criticise sanctions and accuse US of propagating terrorism.

US PRESIDENT BARACK Obama has condemned as “hateful” remarks made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the US Governmebt was behind the 11 September, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Ahmadinejad made the comments at the UN General Assembly in New York, saying that the American government “orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy, and its grips on the Middle East, in order to save the Zionist regime.”

Obama was interviewed on the BBC Farsi service- broadcast all over Iran- where he stated that the sentiments expressed by Ahmadinejad were “inexcusable, hateful and offensive”.

At the UN General Assembly,  Obama had said that a Palestinian state could rise within a year, and the President reiterated that claim in the interview but said that Iran had a part to play in any Palestinian state. “I think most Iranian people are — are looking for is that Palestinians have their right to a sovereign state,” he said. “Well, there’s only one way to achieve that, and that is by peace with Israel.”

On the subject of the US sanctions on Iran due to its nuclear programme, Obama said the sanctions were against the regime, and not the people, of Iran.

“Iran has not been able to convince the international community that its nuclear program is peaceful,” Obama said. “This is not a matter of us choosing to impose punishment on the Iranians. This is a matter of the Iranian government, I think, ultimately betraying the interests of its own people by isolating it further.”

“When people inside of Iran are asking themselves, ‘Why is it that we can’t get spare parts or food prices are going up?’…They have to look at the management of their own government, both in terms of the economic management but also in terms of them deciding that it’s a higher priority to pursue a covert nuclear program than it is to make sure that their people have opportunity,” he said.

Obama also refused to rule out future military action on Iran if sanctions fail, only saying it was the “strong preference” of the US to resolve the issue peacefully.

In a separate development, Ahmadinejad gave an interview to Fox News yesterday and was highly critical of the sanctions on his country. “The pressure comes despite the fact that Iran, unlike Israel, is cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)” Ahmadinejad said.

He also blamed the US for the spread of terrorism in the Middle East and said that the world is “free not to believe” Iran on its claims not to be interested in nuclear weapons. “After witnessing the US blind war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the international community has realized that these wars have only spread terrorism in the region.”