EU chief slams Iran's 9/11 attack claims

Europe's foreign policy chief today condemned Iranian claims of US government complicity in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America.

Baroness (Cathy) Ashton took part in a mass walkout from the United Nations General Assembly meeting yesterday during a speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in which he claimed the majority of Americans believed in the theory of Washington's involvement.

Mr Ahmadinejad said there was worldwide speculation that "some segments within the US government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order also to save the Zionist regime".

He added: "The majority of the American people, as well as other nations and politicians, agree with this view."

The American-led walkout was joined by officials from all 27 EU countries.

Baroness Ashton was there as the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and said in a statement today: "The assertions made by the Iranian president at the UN that the United States was in any way responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, or that the majority of people in the US believe this to be the case, is outrageous and unacceptable.

"It is for this reason that all representatives of the 27 nations of the EU walked out of the United Nations General Assembly hall."

She added: "On behalf of the EU, I would like to express my solidarity with the families and friends of those killed or injured in the 9/11 attacks."

Meanwhile, Washington condemned the Iranian president's remarks as "abhorrent and delusional".