Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad acknowledged that gay people might exist in his country during a press briefing in which he suggested that perhaps CNN correspondent Wolf Blitzer knows some of them.
During the briefing with reporters Thursday in New York City, the site of the United Nations General Assembly, Blitzer asked Ahmadinejad about his controversial statement from 2007 at Columbia University that gay people do not exist in Iran. The president gave the answer back then in response to questions about the execution of gay people, which reportedly continue despite the country’s insistence to the contrary.
“Are there homosexuals in Iran?” Blitzer asked.
"My position hasn't changed,” said Ahmadinejad through an interpreter, although his acknowledgment of gay people in Iran presented a new development.
“In Iran homosexuality is looked down upon as an ugly deed,” he said. “Perhaps there are those who engage in such activities and you may be in contact with them and more aware of them. But in Iranian society such activities, thoughts, and behaviors are shameful. Therefore, these are not known elements within Iranian society. Rest assured, this is one of the ugliest behaviors in our society. It is against divine will, divine teachings of any and every faith, and it is certainly at the detriment of humans and humanity. But, as the government, I cannot go in the street and stop my population and ask them about specific orientation, so my position is clear about that."
Watch Ahmadinejad speak with Blitzer.