tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN September 29, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
human rights and reggae s and g. "piers morgan tonight" starts now. mr. president, welcome to new york. many americans see you as public enemy number one. how do you feel about that? >> translator: the creator, the almighty, the most gracious and the most merciful. and good morning to you. i wish to greet all of the wonderful people of the united states and all of the people who will see your program. at the end of the day, if you do have personal animosity towards me, don't transfer that on to the rest of the people of the united states. we love the people of the united states, and they also wish in return peace and stability for all of the world. >> the big catalyst for protests
at the moment in the middle east was the video that was released which mocked the prophet muhammad. as a result, there was an attack as you know on the american embassy in benghazi, libya, the ambassador christopher stevens was murdered. do you condemn the attacking which caused his murder? >> translator: fundamentally, first of all, any action that is provocative offends the religious thoughts and feelings of any people we condemn. likewise, we condemn any type of extremism. of course, what took place was ugly, offending the holy prophet is quite ugly. this has very little or nothing to do with freedom and freedom of speech. this is the weakness and the abuse of freedom. and in many places it is a
crime. it shouldn't take place, and i do hope that they will come in which politicians will not seek to offend those whom otherses hold holy or with sanctities. but we also believe that this must also be resolved in a humane atmosphere, in a participatory environment and we do not like anybody losing their lives or being killed in wri. >> there are protesters all over the middle east now threatening the staff of american embassies, threatening to kill them, behead them. do you think they should stop? >> translator: you see, i cannot determine what people or nations should do, but i do think that extremism gives birth to following and subsequent extremism.
perhaps if the politicians take a better position in the west vis-a-vis offensive words or thoughts or pictures toward what we hold holy, i think conditions will improve. but most nations do not pursue tensions and conflict. >> what was your view, your opinion, of the arab spring last year? and what is your opinion of what is happening now in the countries where there were uprisings and we saw the end of gadhafi and mubarak and so on? >> translator: i do believe that all of the world needs reform. the reform must take place everywhere. everywhere. even in the very same place that you and i are sitting because still humans have not -- have not reached a degree of completeness.
there have been a lot of strides made, but hopes and aspirations have not been realized in some places reforms have taken and some sparks, as you said, we have witnessed. but the desired point is still far away. >> you have often said that democracy, freedom, whatever you want to call it, is best born out ever the people of the country, not from other countries interfering. we saw that happening in tunisia, in egypt, in libya. have you encouraged that? do you encourage the people of those countries to rise up and to protest? >> translator: you see, for the people to rise up or to start a movement, it's their own prerogative. we do not meddle or interfere in that. we believe that everywhere just
this respect freedom and friendship must prevail. >> do you believe fundamentally in a man or woman's right to protest? >> translator: yes. it depends on the laws of any nation. all nations' laws are not equal. they differ. in most countries in one way or another this is allowed under the laws. but fundamentally, i do agree, certainly people must be allowed to express their own opinions freely. freedom is part of the essential rights of all nations. no one has the right to take that away. >> if that is the case, why has the daughter of the former president of iran been imprisoned for protesting against your regime? >> in iran there's only one
regime so perhaps they're protesting against that. and in iran the judicial branch is not under the power of the government, of the administration. they have their own laws, and that's what they follow. and we have no interference in that. and the government has paved the way for the highest form of freedom for all people, and you see that comfortably people criticize, people sometimes trespass the borderlines of proper protest, and they insult one another. as a president, i'm in the middle of the people of iran without drawing any borders, without drawing any red lines, and we converse. >> right. but, i mean, this isn't just any protester. i mean, this could be your daughter in the future. she's a daughter of your predecessor. it's a fairly significant moment
that she's been imprisoned. do you feel uncomfortable that this lady is in jail? >> translator: let's separate the two topics. the fact whether i'm happy at anyone going to prison? no, never. never. no one should go to prison. but also keep in mind that in any country everyone must be treated equally under the laws. no one must have -- must receive special treatment because of having been a part of the power structure, regardless of whether the action taken that resulted in imprisonment was right or wrong. i'm not a judge of that. when we come back, i ask president ahmadinejad what he thinks it will take to stop the blood in syria. and you'll hear his controversial views on 9/11. >> announcer: with nothing but his computer, an identity thief is able to use your information
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>> i do believe that we must all say enough of this violence right now. six months ago i said enough of this violence. our opinion vis-a-vis the issue of syria and other nations is completely clear. we do believe that freedom, the right to choose, the right to vote, respect and justice is the fundamental right of all people. all people must obtain these rights. no one has the right to restrict a opinion and nation. but we believe as a friend of nations we must help the nations around the world to obtain these rights through peaceful paths. through peaceful actions. and we have worked hard. i am now hard at work to organize a contact group in order to bring the two sides to a point of national agreement. >> but, mr. president, do you
condemn the level of violence that president assad has brought against his people? because he has been slaughtering tens of thousands of syrians. if, as you say, you are a man of peace and you believe in fundamentally somebody's right to protest, this violence has to stop. have you told president assad it has to stop? >> translator: i am stating my opinion quite clearly. i cannot interfere in the internal matters of syria, but i can announce my opinions. and we are seeking an understanding. some have been working hard to supply weapons to the opposition. the government is also equipped to enter this conflict, and, based on the foundation that some pursue to resolve issues through military intervention, we completely oppose that
doctrine and thought and way of doing things. we do believe that things must be resolved through dialogue without any outsiders' interference. many encouraged these clashes. many and even i, as a nation or myself as a president, said to many countries directly, that you are encouraging these clashes. that government is an independent government, and it will defend itself. they did not accept this. some furnished weapons. and when clashes start, no one displays any mercy. they kill. the other side kills in return. and it never stops. >> is iran selling weapons to the syrian government? and if it's not selling weapons, are you aware of iranian weapons being given to the syrian government? >> translator: i believe that there are many ahead of a line
in supplying weapons. we would never reach our turn. it's quite obvious who those individuals are, who those countries are. >> were you pleased that osama bin laden was killed by american navy s.e.a.l.s on the instruction of president obama? >> translator: i would have been happier to see a transparent trial, a formal trial, and find out the root causes of all of the events of the last few years. >> you have been reported as saying that you believe it is possible that the american government were partly responsible for the events of 9/11. that caused a huge outrage. do you stand by that position? >> translator: of course the whole stake inside the united states showed that over 75% of
the united states population are still somewhat nebulous about the real reasons of that event or of those events. what i said were a number of questions. an event has occurred. due to that, two countries have been occupied. and the conflict still continues. every day hundreds of people in afghanistan, pakistan and iraq are killed. would it not have been better to have a more precise analysis and find out the true in-depth reason of the events of september 11th, make those findings transparent to the populations and the nations across the world, and then have a response in unison? of course the expense would have been much less. do you know how much has been
spent during the afghan and iraq war? >> a considerable amount of money. but let me ask you this, mr. president. if nearly 3,000 iranians had been murdered in the way that americans were on 9/11 in tehran, how would you have reacted to the country that you believed had done that? >> translator: so you're saying that the country of afghanistan was at fault? was responsible? so you're seeing the responsible party as a whole nation? >> i think it is inarguable that al qaeda and osama bin laden's men, who worked for him, were training in afghanistan. so afghanistan was certainly knowingly harboring terrorists who were training to commit atrocities. >> translator: i believe that you can, under no circumstances, justify the condemnation and the attack upon a country in order
to reach a single terrorist group, and i do believe that, no matter how long you and i or other people speak, this is unexplainable. allow me to ask you -- do you believe that the various administrations of the united states were successful in eradicating terrorism? they haven't been. has the problem been resolved? or was it gotten worse? >> translator: well, it's hard to say -- i think -- >> my answer would be clearly it's been partially successful in the sense that al qaeda has been unable to commit another attack of that magnitude since. again, i come back to, if you were the president of iran and that attack happened in tehran, it wouldn't have been acceptable your people for you to do nothing. >> translator: not at all. surely we would have pursued the
perpetrators, not to seek an entire nation. but i ask you this -- during the last ten years, during the last decade, how many american forces were lost and killed in afghanistan and iraq? even today, even right now, they're still losing their lives. has the situation improved? clearly not. how can you say that it has improved? now the activities of the terrorists have trespassed into the borders of pakistan. in iraq and afghanistan over a million people have been killed or injured. we are incredibly saddened that over 3,000 people were killed in the united states. the iranian government immediately condemned those brutal aacks. and i told you we are against even the killing of one individual why should human lives be taken, innocent humans, anywhere in the world?
but in order to avenge the blood of 3,000 people, a million people shouldn't give their lives. some of the behaviors of the united states in our region encourages extremism. perhaps because they don't know the people. so they do need to reform their behavior. there was no need for 5,000 or 6,000 u.s. young men and women to lose their lives. coming up, president ahmadinejad's provocative opinions about israel. he explains what he meant when he said it should be wiped off the map. more of my exclusive interview. bob...
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he was also contentious when we discussed israeli/palestinian relations. let me turn, if i may, mr. president, to israel. you have been condemned very vociferously in america for a comment you are said to have made that you wanted israel to be wiped off the map, off the face of the earth. there have been many different interpretations of what you said. you have disputed the meaning that was then translated from the original thought. let me give you the opportunity to say exactly what you did say and say exactly what you did mean. >> translator: we have been condemned in the united states for many things, for having deposed a dictator with a revolution, for having sought freedom and free elections, for not allowing our oil and
national treasure to leave our country freely, for having stood up to very dangerous terrorists in the region, for having stood up against saddam hussein who enjoyed the backing of many. we stood up against him and did not allow the occupation of our territory. we have been condemned for a great many things. because we said justice for all. the rule of law for all. the right of peaceful nuclear energy for all. >> but do you want -- mr. president, do you want -- >> allow me, sir, allow me, please. >> the question wasn't any of that. the question was -- do you believe that israel -- >> translator: but i will get to that answer, please. don't hurry me. >> if i may repeat it quickly. should israel be wiped off the face of the map? is that your desire? >> translator: if a group comes
and occupies the united states of america, destroyed homes while women and children are in those homes, incarcerate the youth of america, impose five different wars on many neighbors, and always threaten others, what would you do? what would you say? would you help it? would you help that entity? or would you help the people of the united states? so when we say to be wiped, we say for occupation to be wiped off from this world. for war seeking to be wiped off and eradicated. the killing of women and children to be eradicated and we propose the path. we propose the way. the path is to recognize the right of the palestinians to self-governance, allow the people of palestine to make
decisions regarding their own future. imagine one day in palestine there is no longer occupation. occupation no longer exists in palestine. >> do you believe -- >> translator: what else would remain? >> do you believe in a two-state solution? >> translator: about the decision of the people of palestine i cannot express an opinion. that is their prerogative. but the people of palestine must be allowed by everyone and helped by everyone to allow them, to give them the right to choose for themselves, to choose their own future. >> if they agreed, mr. president -- if the palestinians agree to deal with the israelis, which recognized a two-state solution, would you then recognize the state of israel?
if the state of palestine was accepted by the international community, would you accept a two-state solution? >> translator: but before that, allow me to say something. i believe what is our common responsibility, all of humanity, must help and eradicate occupation. eradicate bullying. no longer impose or meddle in the affairs of anyone. there is a 10 million-strong palestinian strong population. we cannot impose our will on them. allow them to choose for themselves. whatever their choice is we cannot express or impose our opinion on them. but it's important for occupation to come to an end for allowing occupation to come to an end so that the people of
palestine can have the right to self-determination. >> i understand that. but if the palestinians were to -- >> translator: allow me, sir. >> i'm assuming a deal. if they had a peace treaty, would you as the predent of iran allow the solution? it would be a very huge contribution to the peace settlement if you did. >> translator: i think there are many choices in question here. you seem to prefer only one choice, only one avenue and want to ask me my opinion on that. i do believe that, as a human being and as a political figure, prior to speaking about the construct of government i must speak of the fundamental rights of the people. i say we must give of the free right of choice and self-determination to the people of palestine.
this is a much higher value, of much higher value, than what you are intent in hearing. will we recognize that -- >> we both. >> translator: allow occupation to come to an end. allow the palestinians to be released from incarceration. allow the people of palestine to sit down at the table of collaboration and make their own decision. and you should respect that decision, and we should do that as well. any decision they make for their own land, for their own country, not for others. >> would you prefer -- >> translator: i don't want to sit here and make a decision for them. whatever decision they make we respect. coming up -- things get pretty heated when i push president ahmadinejad to explain his views on the holocaust. more on our exclusive interview. ♪ to look at [ sighs ] ♪ oh, he's shaggy ♪ and he eats like a hog
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president question, there's no ch thing as an easy answer, especially regarding the holocaust. do you believe the holocaust happened? because many jews believe that you do not think it happened, and they have a view of you because of that. >> translator: the historic event that you spoke of i have two questions. i had two questions for quite some time, never received an answer to either one. everywhere they allow a certain amount of research of looking into historical events. whenever there are obstacles placed on this path, then a question mark or two will arise. >> what are the questions you have about the holocaust? >> translator: why in europe has it been forbidden for anyone to conduct any research about this event? why are researchers imprisoned? >> there's been extensive
research into the holocaust. it is indisputable that more than 6 million jews were annihilated by adolf hitler and the nazis. the question is, do you dispute that 6 million jews were killed? >> translator: do you believe in the freedom of thoughts and ideas or no? >> i believe in facts. >> translator: and the freedom of research, do you believe that and allow that or not? >> i believe in -- >> translator: two times two equals -- >> that's not my question. i'm asking you whether you believe -- you're a scholar, very tell intelligent man -- that 6 million jews were annihilated by adolf hitler? do you believe that as a fact? >> translator: you pose a question and only want to hear -- >> it's a simple question. >> translator: do you want my answer or yourself? >> it's simple. you either believe it or you don't. >> translator: your answer and your thoughts seem to be quite
clear on the topic. why do you wish to impose your own opinion on me? >> i believe it's an inarguable fact that 6 million jews were killed by the nazis and adolf hitler. i'm asking you as the president of iran and a scholar, do you believe 6 million jews were killed by the nazis, or do you think that is not true? >> translator: so, in other words, i must accept the premise of your question in order to give an answer? that's a dictatorship, sir. >> you either believe the jews were killed or you don't? >> translator: you asked me a question. >> the answer is yes or no. >> translator: are you imposing your ideas? >> i'm not imposing any ideas. >> translator: allow me, sir. you see, what you're doing is you're seeking a response based on my thoughts. why do you even care the origin -- what the origin of my thoughts are? the results of the events of the second world war led to the occupation of a territory.
>> the reason i care is because part of your reputation in america, the damage to your reputation amongst americans, is because they believe that you questioned the validity of the holocaust. so i'm simply asking you to state very clearly and simply whether you believed over 6 million jews were killed by the nazis in the war or not. and the answer is either yes or no. it's not a difficult question. >> translator: i thank you for caring so much about me. and i do believe that it is commonplace for an interviewer to pose a question and wait for the proper response to be completed. if you keep wanting to interrupt me, it's not an issue. it's your show. here you are and there's the camera. speak to your heart's content, sir. >> apologize. i allow you to answer in any way you see fit.
>> translator: you must not insist on receiving the proper -- what you see as the proper answer or behavior of me. i pass no judgment about historic events. i say researchers and scholars must be free to conduct research about any historical event. and have contrary opinions, pro and con. this should not have led to setting up of new confines and borderlines throughout the world and classify some as good, some as bad. why should a researcher be put in jail, one question. question number two -- let's assume your parameter is right, your question is right. your assumptions is that this event took place. where did it take place? whom were the individuals responsible for this event? what with does this have to do with the occupation of palestine?
what role do the people of palestine play in this event? these are very clear and transparent questions, sir. the third question i have -- if a historic event -- if a historical event has indeed taken place, why so much sensitivity surrounding it by politicians? >> mr. president, if i may -- translator: this has already come and gone. >> let me move on because time is short. >> translator: everyone knows the answer to these questions. >> benjamin netanyahu has made it clear that he believes iran is producing uranium to have a nuclear weapon, not help people with cancer, as you say. he's also indicating that israel may take some preemptive strike against iran. if israel does launch a strike against your country, what will your response be?
>> translator: the response of iran is quite clear. i don't even need to explain that. any question and any nation has the right and will indeed defend herself. but my question is this -- why should the world be managed in such a way that an individual can allow himself to threaten a rich and deeply rooted historical, ancient country such as iran? a great country such as iran, based on an excuse of his own fabrication? so anyone can do this. another country can say, i am guessing, that country "b" is doing activity "x." therefore, i will -- >> do you fear, mr. president -- >> translator: -- i will attack that country. can this be successful formula for the management of the world? >> do you fear that war is imminent? do you fear there will be military conflict, perhaps even
before the end of this year, between your country and israel? >> translator: of course the zionists are very much -- very adventuresome, very much seeking to fabricate things. i think they see themselves at the end of the line. and i do firmly believe that they seek to create the opportunities for themselves and their adventurous behaviors. >> let me ask you this. there's an american election coming in november. who do you prefer to win that election, romney or obama? the reason i ask you is mitt romney has been much more aggressive in the language he has used against your country than barack obama has. >> translator: i do respect the right to free elections for the people of the united states. this is the right of the people of the united states. >> were you happy with what mitt romney said about iran?
>> translator: i said that i really don't want to express any opinions, but i do believe that unilateral behaviors and bullying behaviors in the world are coming to an end. everyone in the world must seek friendship, humanity, human values and logic. and this is something that will govern the world. president ahmadinejad claims there are no homosexuals in iran. when we come back, you'll hear what he told me when i asked if he believes people are born gay. [ woman ] it's 32 minutes to go time,
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when peopltalk of freedom -- i've heard you talk to freedom -- they look at iran and they say there are still laws banning homosexuality. you have a law that bans single women from going skiing on their own. and they say, what kind of freedom is that, if people can't be gay because they were born that way, or they can't go skiing as a single woman? what do you say to critics? >> translator: now, you have
managed to mix a number of things here. for a single lady to go on a trip to go skiing, is that forbidden in iran? who has told you that? >> it's not forbidden? >> translator: i'm hearing it from you. >> it has been widely reported that you brought in a rule that said single women couldn't go skiing. are you now telling me they can? >> translator: i'm hearing it from you, sir, for the very first time. >> to clarify, mr. president, if a single woman from iran is watching this interview, she can go skiing on her own. >> it is okay, you are happy. >> translator: allow me, sir, homosexuality is a completely
different topic. this the only engrained in those that are supporting capitalism more than human values. it is strictly forbidden, it's a very ugly behavior. how can you, in order to obtain four or five additional votes or to make a party more popular than the other, how can you give -- but when i say freedom -- allow me, sir. >> do you believe that homosexual people, are they born homosexual or do they become homosexual? what do you believe? >> translator: they become at the end of the day, they do become that way. i'm not seeking the root causes of it, though. you see, the problems that are facing humanity today are much deeper than whether a single lady goes skiing or not.
there are many reforms yet to take place, many reforms, as of yet to be realized. in the united states, 50 million people live in poverty. is america a poor country? they're human beings, too. each one of them is a complete human being with many hopes and aspirations and dreams. throughout the world, 1.2 billion people live in utter poverty. dictatorships do exist. oppressions exist. denying human dignity exists, unfortunately. all of this must be reformed. humans must feel like human beings. >> when i hear you say this, mr. president, i like you speaking like this. this is great. but shouldn't freedom and individuality and all those things also extend to people who just happen to be gay, who were born gay? they weren't made gay.
wouldn't it be great for the president of iran to say, you know something, everyone's entitled to be whatever sexuality they are born to be? that would be a great symbol of freedom. >> translator: do you really believe that someone is born homosexual? >> yes, i absolutely believe that. yes, i do. >> translator: i'm sorry. let me ask you this, do you believe that anyone is given birth to through homosexuality? homosexuality ceases procreation. who has said that if you like or believe in doing something ugly and others do not accept your behavior, they're denying your freedom? who says that? who says that? perhaps in a country they wish to legitimize stealing. >> you are a father of three children. you have two sons and a daughter. what would you do if one of them was gay?
>> translator: these things have different ways -- the proper education must be given. the education system must be revamped. the political system must be revamped. and these must be also -- they're revamped along the way. but if a group recognizes an ugly behavior or ugly deed as legitimate, you must not expect other countries or other groups to give it the same recognition. this is an imposition of your will, sir. >> how would you feel if one of your children dated a jew? >> translator: i would have to see who that jewish man or woman would be. i see love amongst people as completely acceptable. there are many jews living in iran with whom we are very close. there are some muslims that
marry into jewish families or marry christians. we have no such problems. >> people would be surprised. people will be surprised you say that, mr. president. they will like you for saying that. >> translator: of course, i think none of us should represent the whole population of the united states. but we believe that color, religion, native tongue, ethnic background should create differences or distances between people nor should it be the sole reason to bring people closer together. when we come back, a police i can promise you mahmoud ahmadinejad has never been asked before. wait till you hear how he answers it. i ask every guest one question. i'm going to ask you, just because i'm amused by your response. how many times in your life, mr. president, have you been properly in love?
>> translator: i'm in love with all of humanity. i love all human beings. >> that might be the best answer i've ever heard to that question. >> translator: members of my own family like any other human being. >> mr. president, thank you for your time. >> translator: god bless you. wish you success. >> thank you, sir. hi, there. i'm susan hendricks in tonight for don lemon. the ories you are talking about in just a moment. but first, we want to get you up to speed on some of the day's headlines. republican vice presidential candidate paul ryan is campaigning in ohio talking, talking gun rights at a national men's sports conference. also vice president joe biden wrapped up a two-day swing through florida, including a stop in ft. myers. president obama and mitt romney ke