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East Timor Leader Accuses Ahmadinejad Of Speaking 'Obscenities'

Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta speaks to the General Assembly.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos-Horta, the president of the tiny Asian state of East Timor, has accused Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad of speaking "obscenities" with his suggestion that the U.S. government may have played a role in carrying out the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that brought down the World Trade Center towers in New York.

Ramos-Horta, in his speech to the UN General Assembly on September 25, said Ahmadinejad had gone "too far" in his comments -- similar, Ramos-Horta said, to when the Iranian president questioned the facts of the World War II Nazi Holocaust that killed some 6 million European Jews.

"Ahmadinejad is entitled to believe in, and regurgitate, whatever intellectual, philosophical, or theological concoctions his unique mind may fabricate. However, I do not agree that anyone of us should disregard basic rules and practices of conduct among leaders and utter obscenities in this august assembly," Ramos-Horta said.

"What President Ahmadinejad said in this forum in regard to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center was an obscenity. He went too far as he has done many times before in this assembly and in other fora, as when he questioned the facts of the Holocaust."

It was the strongest criticism spoken in public by a national leader so far in reaction to Ahmadinejad's comments on September 23 about the September 11, 2001, attacks.

In additional comments, Ramos-Horta said he supported Iran's right to develop peaceful nuclear technology.

Ramos-Horta won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996 for his work toward an independent East Timor, which became independent in 2002.

compiled from agency reports