Sept.01 - UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon defends controversial Iran visit saying he pushed the country for change. Andrew Raven reports.
The head of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, defends his controversial visit to Iran last week. He was in the capital Tehran for the Non Aligned Movement summit - a trip that drew criticism from the U.S. and Israel who wanted Ban to boycott the event. On Friday, Ban defended his decision saying he believed in the power of diplomacy and dialogue. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON, SAYING: "I think that it should not have been controversial. As a secretary-general of the United Nations, I have a mandate to engage with all the member states of the United Nations." Ban said he pushed Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for answers about the country's nuclear program, which the U.S. and Israel say is focused on making weapons. While Iran denies the allegations, Ban said Tehran's responses were not always satisfactory. SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON, SAYING: "They were not giving me any concrete answers." During the summit of 120 mostly developing nations Ban also tried to build support for ending the conflict in Syria.