Thursday, November 15, 2007

President Ahmadinejad Delivers Remarks to the National Press Club -

MODERATOR: Two of the journalists that have been arrested in Iran have been sentenced to death simply for doing their jobs

President Ahmadinejad: This news is fundamentally wrong

I think the people who give this information should seek what is the truth and, sort of, disseminate what's correct.

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): So I invite everyone present in this meeting to come and visit Iran for themselves, to come freely and visit the country all over, to speak with the people there. Then their point of view will change.

MODERATOR: Two of the journalists that have been arrested in Iran have been sentenced to death simply for doing their jobs.

Mr. President, can you give us your word that you will do everything in your power to keep this sentence from being carried out?

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): This news is fundamentally wrong. This is incorrect. This is not correct at all about Iran, what's happening. What journalist has been sentenced to death?

I'm sorry that some press here disseminates what's untrue. Why should we insist on propagating what's untrue? This moves away from the...

MODERATOR: This report comes from Reporters Without Borders.

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Well, this is incorrect.

Who are these people? Can you let me know who they are, so that at least I can be aware of who they are, too?

MODERATOR: I will certainly do that.

Moving on, Iranian women are...

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I would be certainly grateful. That would be very helpful to me.

MODERATOR: OK, I have just been handed a report from Reporters Without Borders, and it names the names Adnan Hassanpour and -- forgive me, this is a little difficult -- Abdolvahed "Hiva" Botimar.

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Where were they involved in as a journalist and where were they arrested? I don't know people by that name.


I think that what you received was incorrect information.

You have to, sort of, rectify the information channel. You have -- on a daily basis, over 30 newspapers currently are filled with pages and pages of, basically, criticizing the president and the administration in Iran and even sometimes insulting our policies and what we do.

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): All the journalists and newspapers also receive the loans from the government -- actually, not loans, but grants from the government.

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