In an exclusive interview with ABC "World News" anchor Diane Sawyer in Copenhagen, Denmark, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad discussed nuclear weapons, the U.S. hikers being detained in Iran and the United States.
DIANE SAWYER: Mr. President, thank you for speaking with us again. If I may begin with three items of news that the American people have heard about this week. I would like to have you to address them if you will. First of all it is: there is a news story critics of Iran saying this is the smoking gun. There is a news report out of England, a document which purports to show that Iran has been testing a neutron initiator which is a trigger for a nuclear weapon, has no civilian use and they now say this is the document that proves it -- have you been testing a neutron initiator?
PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: [Ahmadinejad began by reciting a prayer about the 12th Imam in Arabic.] First of all, I would like to express my greetings to the good people of America and I hope that the American people and other nations of the world live in full health and security. I hope that the efforts that are being made in Copenhagen lead to positive results for the betterment of the human society. As far as your question is concerned, I think that some of the claims made by the American and other Western statesmen about our nuclear issue have turned into a repetitive and tasteless joke. They always come up with papers saying that they have got documents. These are all baseless talk. From our point of view, they are of no legal value and not worth paying attention to. Even we are not ready to investigate them.
SAWYER: Would you like to see this document? Is it a joke?
AHMADINEJAD: No, I don't want to see them at all. I don't. Because they are all fabricated bunch of papers continuously being forged and disseminated by the American government. They are of no legal value for us. There is a fact that we should proclaim. The U.S. government is looking for domination over the Middle East region and the world. Its policies are double standard and discriminatory and we oppose these policies. We say this clearly that the nuclear issue and other issues of this kind are just pretexts. It will be good if the U.S. statesmen have got some honesty and speak their mind. They want to dominate the Middle East region, over this political region and over this energy region. The Iranian nation and the Iranian government are huge obstacles. They should have the courage to announce this to the nations in a manly manner. They always come up with these fabricated papers, documents, and excuses -- one day they say it is nuclear, another day human rights. They have become repetitive for us now -- like a repetitive joke that is not funny anymore.
SAWYER: So this is not true?
AHMADINEJAD: They are fundamentally not true. All the American claims are not true -- not only this one, but also the previous ones. We have got written documents from the agency [International Atomic Energy Agency] indicating that these claims have not been true. They asked us six questions that we answered and we received written confirmation from the agency. The agency has announced in 12 official documents that there is not any deviation in Iran.
SAWYER: Another news...