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'US putting Laden, me in same boat'

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accuses "some circles" in the US of putting him in the same boat as Al-Qaeda head Osama bin Laden.

world Updated: Sep 30, 2007 14:32 IST

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accused "some circles" in the US of putting him in the same boat as Al-Qaeda head Osama bin Laden.

"Some US circles wanted to sabotage my trip to New York by, for example, putting my picture next to bin Laden," Ahmadinejad told the Khabar news network.

Ahmadinejad also accused the US government and New York City officials of rejecting his request to visit the site of the Sep 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

"All I wanted to do was pay my respects and tribute at the site to the victims, but this simple request was rejected," he said.

Ahmadinejad said the world in general and the US in particular should evaluate the roots of the Sep 11 attacks, and not simply take the occasion to create prejudice and suspicion.

He compared the status of Sep 11 to the Holocaust, saying that both were used against the Islamic world.

Iranian officials and state media have in recent days accused the US of failing in its alleged effort to distort Ahmadinejad's image during his visit to the UN General Assembly.

In retaliation against Tuesday's US House of Representatives vote to designate Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guards as terrorists, the Iranian parliament Saturday passed a resolution branding the US Army and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as terrorists.

Iran had rejected the US House of Representatives vote as "worthless" and said that such "baseless" decisions would not help secure world peace.

The Revolutionary Guards were formed at the beginning of the 1979 Islamic revolution by late spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and played a major part in the 1980-88 war with Iraq.

After the war, the guards were not only in charge of border security but also engaged in reconstruction projects.

The US Defence Department has accused the Revolutionary Guards of fomenting violence in Iraq, including training and arming militants responsible for attacks on US troops. Tehran has denied the charges.

First Published: Sep 30, 2007 14:26 IST