Following are excerpts from an interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which aired on the Iranian news channel on September 29, 2007:
Interviewer: You were supposed to visit the site of the Twin Towers, but this aroused controversy and many objections in their media. What do you think about this?
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: As you know, by spreading lies and by portraying me... For example, they show my picture next to a picture of Bin Laden, or next to tanks and cannons firing and killing people. This is psychological warfare. 9/11 has led to many significant changes. It was used as a pretext to occupy Afghanistan and Iraq. It was the reason for the killing of hundreds of thousands of people. It is only natural for us to respond in an appropriate manner. I wanted to visit there last year, but there was no time for that. So I decided to visit there this year to pay my respect to the casualties and convey my sympathy to the families. I also wanted to raise several questions and express my views. I wanted to say that in my opinion, this incident is the result of the mismanagement of the world, and the result of the inhuman management of the world. Why did such an incident take place? We need to get to the root causes. We don't want them to turn this incident, in 20 years' time, into another false idol like the Holocaust, which they would use as a pretext to kill peoples, and prevent anybody from opening this [Pandora's] box and examining what really happened in this incident. They might turn 9/11 into something sacred, and whoever does not accept it would be considered an infidel, whereas whoever accepts it would have to accept all the ensuing crimes. In any event, we must express our views. I believe that this way, we would have formed cordial relations with the American people, and cold have opened this issue up for discussion. Well, this is exactly what they want to prevent.