My 'Bizarre' Chat With Ahmadinejad

Iran president: We 'love' Americans
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 22, 2011 12:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – 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.

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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. (Read more Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stories.)

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