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Osama in Washington, not Iran: Ahmadinejad

Osama bin Laden, the most wanted man on the planet, is not holed up in Iran but is in the US capital, Washington DC, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has claimed.

world Updated: May 05, 2010 21:19 IST

Osama bin Laden, the most wanted man on the planet, is not holed up in Iran but is in the US capital, Washington DC, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has claimed.

"Rest assured that he's in Washington. I think there's a high chance he's there," Ahmadinejad said sarcastically in an interview to ABC News when asked to comment on reports that bin Laden is hiding in Iran for years.

His sarcastic quip came when asked to responded to a claim in new documentary "Feathered Cocaine" that bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda leader has been living comfortably in Tehran, Iran, for years.

"Your question is laughable," Ahmadinejad said with a smile.

"Our position is quite clear. Some journalists have said bin Laden is in Iran. These words don't have legal value. Our position towards Afghanistan and against terrorism is quite clear... I don't know such a thing. You are giving news which is very strange.

"I heard that Osama bin Laden is in Washington, D.C.," he added.

When that remark was challenged, Ahmadinejad pressed further.

"Yes, I did. He's there. Because he was a previous partner of (George W) Bush. They were colleagues in fact in the old days. You know that. They were in the oil business together. They worked together," he said.

As for bin Laden sneaking into Iran, Ahmadinejad said Iran's borders are closed to all illegal entries, "whether it's the three American mountaineers, Mr. bin Laden, or anyone else," he said, referring to the three American hikers who were detained in Iran last July and remain in custody.

The Iranian president is in New York to attend the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations.