Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said he believes - as an
engineer - the World Trade Center towers could not have been brought
down by aircraft.
Interviewed after his address to the UN General Assembly sparked a
walkout, he told the AP news agency some kind of planned explosion
must have occurred.
But he stopped short of saying the US staged the disaster 10 years
He had been widely condemned for using his UN address to brand
the US killing of Osama Bin Laden a 9/11 cover-up.
'Repair US relationship'
Diplomats from more than 30 countries, including the US and EU
nations, left the hall as he attacked the West, denounced Israel,
and questioned the Holocaust.
The mass walkout has become almost a staple of the General Assembly's meet-
ings. It came a day ahead of a Palestinian bid for UN membership.
Mr Ahmadinejad told AP it was not too late for Iran and the US to repair their
But he was fiercely critical of the operation against Osama Bin Laden, when,
he said, the US "killed the main perpetrator [of 9/11] and threw his body into
"Would it not have been reasonable to bring to justice and openly bring to
trial the main perpetrator of the incident in order to identify the elements be-
hind the safe space provided for the invading aircraft to attack the twin World
Trade Center towers?" he had told the assembly.
The Iranian president has previously called the 9/11 attack a "suspect event"
and a "big fabrication" used to justify the US war on terrorism.
White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One
that he "found it rich" that Mr Ahmadinejad would criticise US policy, and ac-
cused Tehran of "vile mistreatment" of its own citizens.
Mr Ahmadinejad had also used Thursday's address to accuse Western nations of
"weakening countries through military intervention and destroying their infra-
structures, in order to plunder their resources by making them all the more de-
UK Prime Minister David Cameron hit back at Iran during his speech to the UN.
"They do everything they can to avoid the accountability of a free media," he
"They violently prevent demonstrations and, yes, they detain and torture those
who argue for a better future."
Hundreds of people protested against the Iranian leader's appearance at the
UN meeting in New York.
Across from the UN headquarters, there were huge banners, one of which read,
"Down With the Islamic Republic of Iran", while children stamped on a poster of
The foreign ministry of Israel, which boycotted the speech, said in a state-
ment: "Once again the Iranian president delivered a message of hostility to the
family of nations, threatening world peace and security."
On Friday the UN Security Council is expected to examine a bid to admit the
Palestinians as a partial or full member of the UN.
The US has vowed to veto the request, which is also firmly opposed by Israel.
US President Barack Obama has said there can be "no short-cut" to a negotiated
peace deal in the Middle East.