Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has renewed his call to establish an independent fact-finding committee on the 9/11 incident, urging trial of those who engineered the event.
“Plotters of the September 11 incident should be brought to trial. While regional nations knew nothing about the event, yet countries were occupied [because of it],” IRNA quoted President Ahmadinejad as saying in a press conference in the Azeri capital of Baku on Thursday.
“A fact-finding committee which is trusted by nations should investigate the 9/11 event,” he added.
The president emphasized that if US statesmen truly possess firm documents about what happened during the incident, as they claim, they should not fear the establishment of a fact-finding committee and can produce their evidence to the body for a probe.
The Iranian chief executive went on to add, “If it is proved that such crimes were carried out by those who have presence in our region, regional countries and nations will duly punish them by themselves.”
In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September, the Iranian president called for the formation of an independent probe committee to investigate the 2001 event in New York and Washington.
President Ahmadinejad’s call for a probe triggered a row in the White House with US President Barak Obama criticizing the Iranian president’s remarks as “hateful.”
The Iranian president later defended his proposal, saying it did not mean Tehran was insensitive to the pain of the families of the victims but rather showed a commitment to finding the truth behind an incident that triggered wars in Iran’s neighboring countries.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Ahmadinejad expressed Iran’s constant readiness to hold fair talks with P5+1 group — Britain, China, France, Russia and the US plus Germany.
“We have always advocated negotiations but talks should be based on justice and respect. However, certain Western countries pursue arrogant behavior and think they can win concession if they exert pressure on Iran,” he said.
“We believe that talks should be held for friendship and justice and that everyone who intends to impose their demands is mistaken. Iran will not be affected,” he added.
The Iranian chief executive pointed out that negotiations are currently underway to set the venue of talks between Iran and P5+1.
On October 14, EU Foreign Affairs Chief Catherine Ashton proposed three-day talks to be held in mid-November in the Austrian capital of Vienna, expressing hope that Tehran would “respond positively” to the offer.
Iran’s proposed date and venue for talks with the P5+1 were announced on November 9 in a letter sent by Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Saeed Jalili to his counterpart Catherine Ashton.
Ashton accepted Iran’s proposed date for talks, but suggested Vienna or Switzerland as the venue for the first meeting.