In his only print interview during a visit to the UN, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appeared “complex, even bizarre,” writes Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times. The “firebrand” in public was “subdued and very soft-spoken” in person, offering repeated “olive branches” to his interviewer: "We truly like and love the people of the United States," he noted. But after opening with a blessing for all Kristof’s readers, he grew testy over some of the journalist’s questions.
Ahmadinejad renewed an offer to end Iranian nuclear enrichment if the West provided the country with fuel already 20% enriched. The material would be used for “cancer treatment medication,” he said. Meanwhile, the Iranian president appeared frustrated by questions over the American hikers held in Iran; while he didn’t call them spies, he said any country would have punished them. As for the mid-protest killing of Neda Agha-Soltan, Ahmadinejad “constructed his own reality,” Kristof writes. “He suggested that she had been murdered by his opponents, working with the BBC, as part of a bizarre snuff film.” Click through for the full article, or an interview transcript.