In April reports emerged about whether Israel would take military action -- with or without alerting the U.S. -- against Iran's nuclear enrichment facilities if the country did not comply with U.N. demands. As far back as July 2008, Obama told House Democrats Israel would likely strike Iran if sanctions do not work.
When asked if pushing Iran's nuclear program was akin to playing with fire and tempting an Israeli military strike, the normally verbose Ahmadinejad offered a simple yet definitive, "No."
He later continued, "They're not a factor in our defense doctrine. We don't even count them... They can't even manage Gaza. They want to get into a conflict with Iran?"
"Iran will definitely continue its path. You should not even doubt that we will continue our path," he said.
The Iranian president spoke at the U.N. headquarters in New York just two days after a man allegedly tried to blow up a car bomb in New York's busy Times Square. The plot, if successful, could have killed or wounded hundreds of people.
In light of the attempted attack, Ahmadinejad said his government categorically opposes terrorism, but said the incident was evidence that America's tactics in the war on terror have failed.
"It's the 10th year since the United States has entered Afghanistan. Has terrorism been limited or expanded? After 10 years of being in Afghanistan, the United States declares that Taliban terrorists have planted a bomb in a square in New York," he said. "Is it not a clear indication of the United States failure fighting against terrorism? It's quite obvious that the procedure is wrong.
"We oppose terrorism, but fighting terrorism has a legal method and a scientific method," he said.
Before Ahmadinejad arrived in the U.S. this week, the parents of three American hikers detained in Iran since last July wrote an open letter to the Iranian president, begging him to bring their children to the U.S. with him.
Ahmadinejad told ABC News he did not pluck them out of jail because they "are being handled by our judicial system.
"Can anyone enter the borders illegally? No, they can't," he said. "There's a due process of law that is being observed. The judicial system in Iran is independent of political influence. It's under the influence of judicial law."
The Iranian leader said it was up to a judge to decide whether the hikers' claim that they simply got lost was the truth as they would have to plead their case to him, currently without the aid of a lawyer.
"They have to provide proof and evidence to the judge in Iran that shows that they lost their way or made a mistake," Ahmadinejad said. "When the time comes, they will have a lawyer."
Ahmadinejad said he would recommend that judge "render maximum cooperation" in regards to the case, but said he had no influence over the judge.
After their parent's wish wasn't granted, the Americans reportedly began considering a hunger strike.
"I hope they don't do it," Nora Shourd, mother of detained American Sarah Shourd told National Public Radio on Monday. "I can kind of understand where they're coming from right now I think... This is a day-to-day thing for them. They wake up and they're still there."
ABC News' Kate McCarthy, Jennifer Pereira, Kirit Radia, Emily Friedman and Luis Martinez contributed to this report.