Diane Sawyer Interviews Iranian President Ahmadinejad

SAWYER: What's the first word that comes to your mind when you see him giving his speech and him today, what's the first word that describes him to you?

AHMADINEJAD: I don't want to comment on him. We welcomed his slogan of change and we declared that we would help and we did help, i.e. I sent him a message. We had talks in Geneva.

SAWYER: Speaking...

AHMADINEJAD: We had talks in Vienna. We proposed exchanging of fuel. I announced that in my trip to New York I was ready to enter a debate with him. We were expecting substantial changes by him, but his behavior makes us worried.

SAWYER: Speaking...

AHMADINEJAD: Not only his decisions aren't going to lead to any change, but they will even exacerbate the status quo.

SAWYER: Speaking of help, a question if I can about the three American hikers who say that they accidentally wandered into Iranian territory looking at waterfalls. These young people, Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal and Sarah Shourd. You said that you were going to do your best to set them free and to hope that it happened as soon as possible. Are you still going to do your best to set them free?

AHMADINEJAD: Yes, but I have got a question to you. How do you know they have accidentally crossed into Iran? How do you know they were looking for waterfalls and forests? Who has told you this?

SAWYER: Do you have evidence that it was not accidental, young people on a hike, on a vacation?

AHMADINEJAD: Who has told you this? Who has told you this? Are you a judge?

SAWYER: By all examinations...

AHMADINEJAD: Permit me. Have the intelligence agents told you this? It is a judge who should identify whether they have entered accidentally or intentionally. I don't distinguish this and you don't distinguish this. I announced that we don't like anybody to be imprisoned, but if somebody commits a violation, a judge should investigate it. There is law.

SAWYER: Their mothers and their families, in enormous anguish, have asked can they go to see them, can they speak to them by telephone. Will you help arrange that?

AHMADINEJAD: We aren't happy about it either. We are unhappy about all prisoners. We are unhappy about all prisoners. In America, there are 3.5 million prisoners. We are unhappy about all of them. They are also away from their families. But a judge should make the judgment.

SAWYER: They will go on trial?

AHMADINEJAD: I am not a judge. I am not a judge. We should ask the judge. They might be able to do it. I think they have corresponded. We aren't happy with the fact that people are imprisoned, but eventually if somebody commits a violation, the judge will attend to it. There is law.

SAWYER: A question in the news overnight Mr. President. We have heard in the news that Iran has taken over an oil field in southern Iraq near Basra, Oil field No. 4, has this happened? Did you order it?

AHMADINEJAD: I haven't received such news. It might have been produced by the media. Some Western media fabricate the news and then they use it as their substantiation.

SAWYER: Would you disapprove? Would you reverse it?

AHMADINEJAD: I haven't heard such news.

SAWYER: Would you disapprove? Would you reverse it?

AHMADINEJAD: We are friends with Iraq and have got very good relations. We have got a lot of cooperation.

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