United Nations Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami criticized President Bush in interviews published Tuesday, as he joined Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu and other leaders at the U.N. for a meeting of a group that promotes understanding between Western and Islamic states.
Khatami, in the middle of a two-week tour of the United States, refused to speak with the media as he went in and out of the room where the meeting of the Alliance of Civilizations took place at U.N. headquarters. The event was closed to the media.
Yet in interviews with CNN and USA Today, Khatami faulted Bush on several counts: He refused, for example, to back off a previous comparison between the American leader and Osama bin Laden. He also said the U.S. was partly to blame for the turmoil in the Middle East.
"As a result of such wrong policies, such unilateral, violent policies, that is - the voice of logic has decreased and voice of terror and attractiveness of terror unfortunately among youth has increased," CNN quoted him as saying in an interview.
Khatami will spend a second day at the U.N. for the event. He spoke in the Chicago area over the weekend and will attend two Islamic conferences as well as deliver a speech Thursday at the National Cathedral in Washington.