View Full Version : Ahmadinejad: How Is WTC Visit Insulting?

09-21-2007, 07:37 PM
Ahmadinejad: How Is WTC Visit Insulting?
60 Minutes Exclusive: Iranian President On Failed Request To Pay Tribute At Ground Zero


NEW YORK, Sept. 20, 2007

(CBS/AP) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will not press his plan -- just denied by New York City police for security reasons -- to visit ground zero in New York City, he tells 60 Minutes' Scott Pelley in an exclusive interview conducted Thursday in Iran.

The Iranian leader says he's skeptical that most Americans view his visit there as insulting as his intention was only to show respect. The interview will be broadcast Sunday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

His request to lay a wreath at the World Trade Center site in New York City next week was turned down by police Thursday and blasted by U.S. diplomats as an attempt to turn ground zero into a "photo op."

Ahmadinejad, who is to arrive Sunday to address the U.N.'s General Assembly, asked the city and the U.S. Secret Service earlier this month for permission to visit the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The request to enter the fenced-in site was rejected because of ongoing construction there and due to security concerns, police spokesman Paul Browne said Wednesday.

Asked if he intends to press his request to visit the site, Ahmadinejad tells Pelley, "Well, it was included in my program. If we have the time and the conditions are conducive, I will try to do that."

"But the New York Police Department and others do not appear to want you there. Do you intend to go there anyway?" Pelley asks.

"Well, over there, local officials need to make the necessary coordinations. If they can't do that, I won't insist," the president replies.

"Sir, what were you thinking? The World Trade Center site is the most sensitive place in the American heart, and you must have known that visiting there would be insulting to many, many Americans," Pelley says.

"Why should it be insulting?" Ahmadinejad asks.

"Well, sir, you're the head of government of an Islamist state that the United States government says is a major exporter of terrorism around the world," Pelley replies.

Ahmadinejad says: "Well, I wouldn't say that what American government says is a-- is the prerequisite here. Something happened there which led to other events. Many innocent people were killed there. Some of those people were American citizens obviously. We obviously are very much against any terrorist action and any killing. And also we are very much against any plots to sow the seeds of discord among nations. Usually you go to these sites to pay your respects. And-- also to perhaps to air your views about the root causes of such incidents. I think that when I do that, I will be paying, as I said earlier, my respect to the American nation."

"But the American people, sir, believe that your country is a terrorist nation, exporting terrorism in the world," Pelley says. "You must have known that visiting the World Trade Center site would infuriate many Americans."

"Well, I'm amazed. How can you speak for the whole of the American nation?" Ahmadinejad says. "You are representing a media and you're a reporter. The American nation is made up of 300 million people. There are different points of view over there."

White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said a visit to ground zero "is a matter for the city of New York, but it seems more than odd that the president of a country that is a state sponsor of terror would visit ground zero."

Mohammad Mir Ali Mohammadi, spokesman for the Iranian mission to the U.N., said he was not notified officially that Ahmadinejad would not be allowed at the site, but said it was unfortunate.

"President Ahmadinejad intended to lay a wreath at the site of ground zero in order to pay tribute to the victims of the terrorists attack of Sept. 11, 2001. We are hopeful that we can still work something out with the police department," he said.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Wednesday the city was considering Ahmadinejad's application, prompting an outcry from politicians and families of Sept. 11 victims. Browne said about two hours later that Kelly had misspoken.

Port Authority and police representatives decided at a meeting that no dignitaries would be allowed inside the site, said Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman.

The United States, its European allies and other world powers suspect Iranian authorities of seeking nuclear weapons, although Iran insists its uranium enrichment program and other atomic activities are aimed only at producing energy.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad, told reporters Wednesday that the United States would not support Iran's attempt to use the site for a "photo op."

"Iran can demonstrate its seriousness about concern with regard to terrorism by taking concrete actions," such as suspending its uranium enrichment program and dropping support for Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, Khalilzad said.

It was not clear whether Ahmadinejad wanted to descend to the base of the trade center site, where the fallen twin towers stood, or to lay a wreath on a public sidewalk outside the site.

Iran and the U.S. have not had diplomatic relations since 1979, when Washington cut its ties with Tehran after Iranian students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. The Bush administration has accused Iran of arming Shiite Muslim militants in Iraq and seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

In a television appearance earlier this week, Ahmadinejad said his country wanted peace and friendship with the United States, despite mounting tensions between the two countries.

In a related development, the U.S. also denied a visa to Iran's United Nations ambassador in Geneva to attend next week's General Assembly meeting because he was involved in the 1979 U.S. hostage crisis, a U.N. official said.

It was not clear what role the ambassador, Ali Reza Moaiyeri, allegedly played in the hostage drama. The U.N. official who said his visa was denied spoke on condition of anonymity because there has been no public announcement.

Richard Grenell, spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, said, "although we don't comment about specific visa cases we certainly would not allow a person into the United States who has taken Americans as hostages."

An earlier version of this story stated that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was "amazed" that most Americans view his visiting ground zero as insulting. Ahmadinejad's quote was in fact in reference to the reporter's point of view as a member of the media. CBS News regrets the error.

09-21-2007, 08:59 PM
I'm kinda torn on this.. What are some other thoughts on it?

09-21-2007, 09:02 PM
Oh yeah, like Bush didn't use WTC as a photo op, the next day no less.

09-21-2007, 09:58 PM
I'm just saying, I don't know if it's his publicists or what but when I hear that unpronouncable names words, I think, "he doesn't seem like a bad egg..." And then when I hear about barbershops being closed for non-islamic haircuts, and people being stoned in the streets I think, "What a nut-job!" (And I don't mean stoned like smoking reefer, wise-asses). I don't know how much of his story is spun by a biased media, and how much is genuine...

09-21-2007, 10:32 PM
Personally, I don't think the majority of America would care one way or the other. Reason being, we know that he had nothing to do with 9/11. However, I think denying him access is a way to somehow tie him to the 9/11 attacks. Similar to how Bush would say the words Iraq and 9/11 in the same sentence. Because of the association of the two words, people think that Iraq had something to do with 9/11. Because of the fact that Ahmadinejad is denied access to Ground Zero, he also then had something to do with 9/11. The Americans that would be "infuriated" by his visit are the same people that think Iraq had something to do with 9/11.

09-21-2007, 10:34 PM
But aside from there being only the difference of 1 letter, what the hell does IraN have to do with 911?

09-21-2007, 10:44 PM
Nothing. Although the argument has certainly been made by people like Richard Baer.

09-21-2007, 10:53 PM
But aside from there being only the difference of 1 letter, what the hell does IraN have to do with 911?

Hey Jon & All,

My 1st post here- looks like my sense of humor might fit a little better here than 911blogger.com.

My question- what the hell does IraQ have to do with 9/11? (I likely have missed a thread, but wanted to throw a line & a howdy out).


09-21-2007, 10:58 PM
Other than being one of the possible reasons (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4310) for the attacks, nothing.

09-21-2007, 11:39 PM
Other than being one of the possible reasons (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4310) for the attacks, nothing.What he said... Nothing at all.... Welcome to the board.

09-22-2007, 12:40 AM
I think most Americans would be supremly pissed if Ahmadinejad was at ground zero.

Personally I don't care either way, nor do I care if he speaks at that University. If he spoke at my University I would go and watch.

09-22-2007, 01:09 AM
yeah, I'm pretty neutral on the topic. I would like to know what he's really all about.
Unrelated: I was coming out of the auto parts store today when I heard a gentleman extolling the virtues of Condi Rice. Ug. I couldn't supress a hurumph, and the guy rounded and asked if I was OK (sarcastic, duh). Upon looking at this guy, I realized there was no point in engaging him on the topic. I think Fox News plays in his house at all times. Sad really.

09-22-2007, 11:11 AM
I say let him visit ground zero, primarily because the more the Bushies turn that site into a sacred shrine, the more the official account of 9/11 becomes sacred (and therefore beyond questioning).

Also, I agree with Jon on the guilt by association thing. I am quite nervous about how easily the neocons have managed to create a slippery slope of connections between 9/11 and their so-called axis of evil. The 9/11 Commission was a masterstroke of propaganda, managing to insinuate the participation of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran, even though none had anything to do with 9/11. Go back and read it and you'll see what I mean. Several pages are devoted to Iraq, for example, just to show that alll of the so-called evidence was ambiguous or non-existent.

But consider what they accomplished by spending so much time DISproving the Iraq connection. It makes it feel like, well, there's an awful lot of suggestive evidence here, and so maybe there is a there there. Of course, there isn't. Just like with Iran.

09-22-2007, 11:13 AM
I should add that I don't care for Ahmadinejad. He's a smart man, but he's a nut as well. I'm saying let him visit simply because of what it would say about ground zero, not what it would say about Ahmadinejad.

09-22-2007, 02:06 PM
I should add that I don't care for Ahmadinejad. He's a smart man, but he's a nut as well. I'm saying let him visit simply because of what it would say about ground zero, not what it would say about Ahmadinejad.I think you just quantified my thoughts on the matter.

09-25-2007, 01:50 AM
It looks to me like like he's got a shadowy "spooky" spot on his resume:

"He served in the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps intelligence and security apparatus. Little reliable biographical information is avaliable about Ahmadinejad during these years."


A few of my hard-learned "Rules for Survival:"

1. NEVER trust a spook- they lie, cheat, sometimes kill, and raise trouble for a living. My Vietnam vet buddies usually put military officers in this category too.
2. There's likely no such thing as an "ex"-spook, unless he's/she's in a pine box.
3. When in doubt, see Rules 1 & 2.

Might not hurt to take his/her picture- they really don't like that kind of attention, or voice recorders. I seem to recall Putin's resume including a similar description too.

09-25-2007, 06:55 AM
Might not hurt to take his/her picture- they really don't like that kind of attention, or voice recorders. I seem to recall Putin's resume including a similar description too.What does this mean? The guy is on camera ALL the time.

09-25-2007, 10:02 AM
Have you noticed how allergic to cameras some of the "police" seem to be lately? Makes me think they might be a little less local and little more federale (2 paychecks are better than one, right?) It's not real good for their careers to repeatedly have their covers blown (and it got some killed in eastern Europe during the cold war- those stars on the wall in VA).

Iran's Prez. and Putin definitely like the camera (so did Hitler, and Stalin, and Mao, and...) I meant the local, "homegrown?" version, not the ultra-nationalistic goose-stepping variety. Did you see where they don't "have homosexuals in Iran?" That was pretty rich!

09-25-2007, 04:40 PM
You're kinda losing me with the homegrown thing. However, I do agree that these cops running around with badges blacked out should be totally illegal. In fact, I think it IS against the law for them to do that. Of course this doesn't stop them. When you look at the whole picture with the economy, and what is happening with FEMA camps, and false flag terror ops, it gets clearer and clearer that something bad is coming. I'm not even refering to a specific act of terrorism. Just the whole picture.