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Filmmaker Sean Stone, son of Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone, proved that he has his father’s penchant for political controversy during a Monday appearance on The O’Reilly Factor, where he defended Iran’s Holocaust-denying president — including his quest for nuclear weapons.
The 27-year-old Stone announced last week that he had converted to Islam, thus the reason for his invitation to appear on Bill O’Reilly’s top-rated cable news program.
After an obligatory question about his religious conversion, though, O’Reilly spent the remainder of the four-minute interview peppering Stone with questions about the politics of Iran, a topic Stone is familiar with because it’s partially the subject of a documentary film he’s making. Stone told O’Reilly he has met with Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other Iranian officials.
“Your association with Iran is interesting, since that country is an enemy to America,” O’Reilly says, as Stone smiles as if he expects to be grilled on the topic.
“Every time I had these conversations, I was very clear in saying, ‘you know, let’s stop with this down-with-America nonsense,’” Stone answers. “It really helped for the American image, frankly, by my being there.”
“You can be seen as somebody who’s being used, because, you know, you come from a family that’s very well known,” O’Reilly tells Stone.
“That could be,” Stone says. “I mean, with Ahmadinejad, he’s a little bit misunderstood because there are many factions in that country and he said some sensational things.”
“Look, look,” O’Reilly interrupts. “The one thing he said that’s undeniable was, he said that the Holocaust never happened. And once you get into that kind of fringe, lunatic assessment — all right — your father’s Jewish, I mean, come on.”
Stone, though, says Ahmadinejad’s denial of the Holocaust is also misunderstood. The Iranian president doesn’t mean the Holocaust didn’t happen, he means that it’s irrelevant to present-day politics, according to Stone.
“Why should it influence Israeli policy in regards to the Palestinians, in regards to the Middle East? That’s always been his point on that matter,” Stone says. “There’s no room for Holocaust denial, of course, I would never agree with that. But I just think that it’s simplistic to say that he’s a fanatic.”
O’Reilly asks: “You okay with Iran having a nuclear weapon?”
“I am, because it’s a Republic and there are factions. And it’s very much like this country. There’s a lot of unrest.”
Stone also predicted that an Occupy Tehran movement akin to Occupy Wall Street is on its way, and he suggested that President Jimmy Carter be enlisted to help solve problems in the Middle East, a thought that made O’Reilly chuckle.
“I don’t think Jimmy Carter’s going to Iran,” O’Reilly says. “I mean, he doesn’t have real good memories from the first time around with them. They kicked his butt.”
Watch the video below.
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