Ahmadinejad: September 11 attacks, Holocaust are Western taboos
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Monday that the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, like the Holocaust, have become a taboo topic for the West, DPA reported.
"The Holocaust was turned by the West into a holier issue than holy books and prophets, and no one was ever allowed to question its real dimensions," Ahmadinejad said in a speech carried live by the news network Khabar.
Now there are attempts to turn the "9-11 incident into a similar taboo item," he said.
Ahmadinejad has drawn criticism for repeatedly calling the mass murder of Jews in World War II a "fairly tale" and saying Israel should be relocated from the Middle East to Europe or North America.
On Monday, he reiterated doubts he voiced last week at the UN General Assembly over the elements behind the 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.
Ahmadinejad caused widespread outrage by claiming that some "segments" of the US government "orchestrated" the attacks to "reverse the declining American economy and its grip on the Middle East in order also to save the Zionist regime," referring to Israel.
"If there is nothing to hide, then the US should allow an impartial team to investigate the 9-11 incident, but the harsh reactions so far shown to a simple question indicates that there is something wrong," Ahmadinejad said Monday.
He said then-US president George W Bush should explain the details of the attacks to clarify the reasons behind the subsequent military invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
"If the Americans cannot give rational reasons for the attacks, then they should at least leave our region and go home," Ahmadinejad said.
He also criticized current US President Barack Obama and said instead of apologizing for the harm caused to the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, "the US president gets angry" over questioning of the 2001 terrorist attacks.
Nearly 3,000 people died on September 11, 2001, including more than 2,700 in New York when two hijacked planes crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center.