The interview took place in New York this morning, said a senior White House official in a conference call with reporters. According to the senior official, the president agreed to sit down with the network, which airs in Iran, because he is “always interested” in finding ways to “speak directly to the people of Iran.”
Here’s a snippet:
BBC PERSIA: If I could just begin with getting your reaction to the remarks Mr. Ahmadinejad made yesterday, faulting America for 9/11.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, it was offensive. It was hateful. And particularly for him to make the statement here in Manhattan, just a little north of Ground Zero, where families lost their loved ones, people of all faiths, all ethnicities who see this as the seminal tragedy of this generation, for him to make a statement like that was inexcusable.
The official says the U.S. wants to see the Iranians “come to the table,” and demonstrate through their actions that they will abide by international sanctions. “They are the ones who are being hurt in this process through their own actions,” he tells us. For Ahmadinejad “to posture, does nothing, frankly, to serve the interests of his own country.”