Ahmadinejad on the treatment of gays in Iran:
Mr. President, another student asks, Iranian women are now denied basic human rights, and your government has imposed draconian punishments, including execution on Iranian citizens who are homosexuals. Why are you doing those things?
PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: Those in Iran are genuine true freedoms. The Iranian people are free. Women in Iran enjoy the highest levels of freedoms. We have two deputy vice — well, two vice presidents that are female…
But as for the executions, I’d like to raise two questions. If someone comes and establishes a network for illicit drug trafficking that affects the (use ?) in Iran, Turkey, Europe, the United States by introducing these illicit drugs and destroys them, would you ever reward them? …
Don’t you have capital punishment in the United States? You do, too. (Applause.)
In Iran, too, there’s capital punishment for illicit drug traffickers, for people who violate the rights of people…
MR. COATSWORTH [moderator]: (Off mike) — and drug smugglers. The question was about sexual preference and women. (Applause.)
PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country. (Laughter.) We don’t have that in our country. (Booing.) In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon. I don’t know who’s told you that we have it. (Laughter.)
Hanging gay teenagers in Mashad, Iran
You can find the complete transcript of Ahmadinejad’s talk at Columbia here.