In New York Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called on the US media to shift their focus away from the Holocaust into other massacres that have taken place in the world.
“There are many historical events, similar historical events. Why is this one in particular so important to you?... During World War II, 60 million people were killed. Why are we just focusing on this special group alone?” Ahmadinejad asked in an interview with CBS.
When the CBS reporter answered that all the attention that is being paid to the matter is because he was 'denying it', Ahmadinejad responded by saying that he was 'sorry for all the 60 million people that lost their lives, equally'.
“All of them were human beings. And it doesn't matter whether they were Christians or Jews or Buddhists or Muslims. They were killed. So, we're sorry for everyone,” said Ahmadinejad, PRESS TV reports.
In a New York interview Ahmadinejad also expressed his views on other issues such as cooperation with the US in Afghanistan, the Holocaust, and Iran's post-election unrest, taking much the same positions as he had previously taken.
At the end the discussion, the Washington Post journalist also appealed to the president for the release of his colleague Maziar Bahari, who was arrested during Iran's post-election unrest, to which Ahmadinejad responded by promising to do what he could, PRESS TV reports.
It was also reported, Ahmadinejad devoted most of his comments to accusing Israel of "racist ambitions" and to portraying himself as a defender of the poor against unbridled capitalism. Speaking of voters in Iran's June presidential election, which led to violent street protests and widespread allegations of fraud, Ahmadinejad said, "They entrusted me once more, by a large majority, with this heavy responsibility."
The comments on Israel, delivered to a hall only about half-filled, brought a swift response from the U.S. mission.
"It is disappointing that Mr. Ahmadinejad has once again chosen to espouse hateful, offensive and anti-Semitic rhetoric," said Mark Kornblau, spokesman for U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, in a statement released even before Ahmadinejad had finished speaking. U.S. delegates walked out during the speech, Los Angeles Times reports.