Barack Obama Condemns Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's UN Speech

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. 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". Despite his condemnation of the Iranian president's remarks, Mr Obama reaffirmed America's commitment to reach out to the people of Iran, who he said had a very different response to 9/11. "There were candlelight vigils and I think a natural sense of shared humanity and sympathy was expressed within Iran," Mr Obama told the BBC. "It just shows once again the difference between how the Iranian leadership and this regime operates and how I think the vast majority of the Iranian people, who are respectful and thoughtful, think about these issues." This was in stark contrast to Mr Ahmadinejad's comments at the UN, the US president said.