May 30, 2006

 

Interview with Spiegel Magazine

SPIEGEL: Mr. President, you are a soccer fan and you like to play soccer. Will you be sitting in the stadium in Nuremberg on June 11, when the Iranian national team plays against Mexico in Germany?

Ahmadinejad: It depends. Naturally, I'll be watching the game in any case. I don't know yet whether I'll be at home in front of the television set or somewhere else. My decision depends upon a number of things.

SPIEGEL: For example?

Ahmadinejad: How much time I have, how the state of various relationships are going, whether I feel like it and a number of other things.

SPIEGEL: There was great indignation in Germany when it became known that you might be coming to the soccer world championship. Did that surprise you?

Ahmadinejad: No, that's not important. I didn't even understand how that came about. It also had no meaning for me. I don't know what all the excitement is about.

SPIEGEL: It concerned your remarks about the Holocaust. It was inevitable that the Iranian president's denial of the systematic murder of the Jews by the Germans would trigger outrage.

Ahmadinejad: I don't exactly understand the connection.

SPIEGEL: First you make your remarks about the Holocaust. Then comes the news that you may travel to Germany -- this causes an uproar. So you were surprised after all?

Ahmadinejad: No, not at all, because the network of Zionism is very active around the world, in Europe too. So I wasn't surprised. We were addressing the German people. We have nothing to do with Zionists.

SPIEGEL: Denying the Holocaust is punishable in Germany. Are you indifferent when confronted with so much outrage?

Ahmadinejad: I know that DER SPIEGEL is a respected magazine. But I don't know whether it is possible for you to publish the truth about the Holocaust. Are you permitted to write everything about it?

SPIEGEL: Of course we are entitled to write about the findings of the past 60 years' historical research. In our view there is no doubt that the Germans -- unfortunately -- bear the guilt for the murder of 6 million Jews.

Ahmadinejad: Well, then we have stirred up a very concrete discussion. We are posing two very clear questions. The first is: Did the Holocaust actually take place? You answer this question in the affirmative. So, the second question is: Whose fault was it? The answer to that has to be found in Europe and not in Palestine. It is perfectly clear: If the Holocaust took place in Europe, one also has to find the answer to it in Europe.

On the other hand, if the Holocaust didn't take place, why then did this regime of occupation ...

SPIEGEL: ... You mean the state of Israel...

Ahmadinejad: ... come about? Why do the European countries commit themselves to defending this regime? Permit me to make one more point. We are of the opinion that, if an historical occurrence conforms to the truth, this truth will be revealed all the more clearly if there is more research into it and more discussion about it.

SPIEGEL: That has long since happened in Germany.

Ahmadinejad: We don't want to confirm or deny the Holocaust. We oppose every type of crime against any people. But we want to know whether this crime actually took place or not. If it did, then those who bear the responsibility for it have to be punished, and not the Palestinians. Why isn't research into a deed that occurred 60 years ago permitted? After all, other historical occurrences, some of which lie several thousand years in the past, are open to research, and even the governments support this.

SPIEGEL: Mr. President, with all due respect, the Holocaust occurred, there were concentration camps, there are dossiers on the extermination of the Jews, there has been a great deal of research, and there is neither the slightest doubt about the Holocaust nor about the fact - we greatly regret this - that the Germans are responsible for it. If we may now add one remark: the fate of the Palestinians is an entirely different issue, and this brings us into the present.

Ahmadinejad: No, no, the roots of the Palestinian conflict must be sought in history. The Holocaust and Palestine are directly connected with one another. And if the Holocaust actually occurred, then you should permit impartial groups from the whole world to research this. Why do you restrict the research to a certain group? Of course, I don't mean you, but rather the European governments.

SPIEGEL: Are you still saying that the Holocaust is just "a myth?"

Ahmadinejad: I will only accept something as truth if I am actually convinced of it.

SPIEGEL: Even though no Western scholars harbor any doubt about the Holocaust?

Ahmadinejad: But there are two opinions on this in Europe. One group of scholars or persons, most of them politically motivated, say the Holocaust occurred. Then there is the group of scholars who represent the opposite position and have therefore been imprisoned for the most part. Hence, an impartial group has to come together to investigate and to render an opinion on this very important subject, because the clarification of this issue will contribute to the solution of global problems. Under the pretext of the Holocaust, a very strong polarization has taken place in the world and fronts have been formed. It would therefore be very good if an international and impartial group looked into the matter in order to clarify it once and for all. Normally, governments promote and support the work of researchers on historical events and do not put them in prison.

SPIEGEL: Who is that supposed to be? Which researchers do you mean?

Ahmadinejad: You would know this better than I; you have the list. There are people from England, from Germany, France and from Australia.

SPIEGEL: You presumably mean, for example, the Englishman David Irving, the German-Canadian Ernst Zündel, who is on trial in Mannheim, and the Frenchman Georges Theil, all of whom deny the Holocaust.

Ahmadinejad: The mere fact that my comments have caused such strong protests, although I'm not a European, and also the fact that I have been compared with certain persons in German history indicates how charged with conflict the atmosphere for research is in your country. Here in Iran you needn't worry.

SPIEGEL: Well, we are conducting this historical debate with you for a very timely purpose. Are you questioning Israel's right to exist?

Ahmadinejad: Look here, my views are quite clear. We are saying that if the Holocaust occurred, then Europe must draw the consequences and that it is not Palestine that should pay the price for it. If it did not occur, then the Jews have to go back to where they came from. I believe that the German people today are also prisoners of the Holocaust. Sixty million people died in the Second World War. World War II was a gigantic crime. We condemn it all. We are against bloodshed, regardless of whether a crime was committed against a Muslim or against a Christian or a Jew. But the question is: Why among these 60 million victims are only the Jews the center of attention?

SPIEGEL: That's just not the case. All peoples mourn the victims claimed by the Second World War, Germans and Russians and Poles and others as well. Yet, we as Germans cannot absolve ourselves of a special guilt, namely for the systematic murder of the Jews. But perhaps we should now move on to the next subject.

Ahmadinejad: No, I have a question for you. What kind of a role did today's youth play in World War II?

SPIEGEL: None.

Ahmadinejad: Why should they have feelings of guilt toward Zionists? Why should the costs of the Zionists be paid out of their pockets? If people committed crimes in the past, then they would have to have been tried 60 years ago. End of story! Why must the German people be humiliated today because a group of people committed crimes in the name of the Germans during the course of history?

SPIEGEL: The German people today can't do anything about it. But there is a sort of collective shame for those deeds done in the German name by our fathers or grandfathers.

Ahmadinejad: How can a person who wasn't even alive at the time be held legally responsible?

SPIEGEL: Not legally but morally.

Ahmadinejad: Why is such a burden heaped on the German people? The German people of today bear no guilt. Why are the German people not permitted the right to defend themselves? Why are the crimes of one group emphasized so greatly, instead of highlighting the great German cultural heritage? Why should the Germans not have the right to express their opinion freely?

SPIEGEL: Mr. President, we are well aware that German history is not made up of only the 12 years of the Third Reich. Nevertheless, we have to accept that horrible crimes have been committed in the German name. We also own up to this, and it is a great achievement of the Germans in post-war history that they have grappled critically with their past.

Ahmadinejad: Are you also prepared to tell that to the German people?

SPIEGEL: Oh yes, we do that.

Ahmadinejad: Then would you also permit an impartial group to ask the German people whether it shares your opinion? No people accepts its own humiliation.

SPIEGEL: All questions are allowed in our country. But of course there are right-wing radicals in Germany who are not only anti-Semitic, but xenophobic as well, and we do indeed consider them a threat.

Ahmadinejad: Let me ask you one thing: How much longer can this go on? How much longer do you think the German people have to accept being taken hostage by the Zionists? When will that end - in 20, 50, 1,000 years?

SPIEGEL: We can only speak for ourselves. DER SPIEGEL is nobody's hostage; SPIEGEL does not deal only with Germany's past and the Germans' crimes. We're not Israel's uncritical ally in the Palestian conflict. But we want to make one thing very clear: We are critical, we are independent, but we won't simply stand by without protest when the existential right of the state of Israel, where many Holocaust survivors live, is being questioned.

Ahmadinejad: Precisely that is our point. Why should you feel obliged to the Zionists? If there really had been a Holocaust, Israel ought to be located in Europe, not in Palestine.

SPIEGEL: Do you want to resettle a whole people 60 years after the end of the war?

Ahmadinejad: Five million Palestinians have not had a home for 60 years. It is amazing really: You have been paying reparations for the Holocaust for 60 years and will have to keep paying up for another 100 years. Why then is the fate of the Palestinians no issue here?

SPIEGEL: The Europeans support the Palestinians in many ways. After all, we also have an historic responsibility to help bring peace to this region finally. But don't you share that responsibility?

Ahmadinejad: Yes, but aggression, occupation and a repetition of the Holocaust won't bring peace. What we want is a sustainable peace. This means that we have to tackle the root of the problem. I am pleased to note that you are honest people and admit that you are obliged to support the Zionists.

SPIEGEL: That's not what we said, Mr. President.

Ahmadinejad: You said Israelis.

SPIEGEL: Mr. President, we're talking about the Holocaust because we want to talk about the possible nuclear armament of Iran -- which is why the West sees you as a threat.

Ahmadinejad: Some groups in the West enjoy calling things or people a threat. Of course you're free to make your own judgment.

SPIEGEL: The key question is: Do you want nuclear weapons for your country?

Ahmadinejad: Allow me to encourage a discussion on the following question: How long do you think the world can be governed by the rhetoric of a handful of Western powers? Whenever they hold something against someone, they start spreading propaganda and lies, defamation and blackmail. How much longer can that go on?

SPIEGEL: We're here to find out the truth. The head of state of a neighboring country, for example, told SPIEGEL: "They are very keen on building the bomb." Is that true?

Ahmadinejad: You see, we conduct our discussions with you and the European governments on an entirely different, higher level. In our view, the legal system whereby a handful of countries force their will on the rest of the world is discriminatory and unstable. One-hundred and thirty-nine countries, including us, are members of the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) in Vienna. Both the statutes of IAEA and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as well as all security agreements grant the member countries the right to produce nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes. That is the legitimate legal right of any people. Beyond this, however, IAEA was also established to promote the disarmament of those powers that already possessed nuclear weapons. And now look at what's happening today: Iran has had an excellent cooperation with IAEA. We have had more than 2,000 inspections of our plants, and the inspectors have obtained more than 1,000 pages of documentation from us. Their cameras are installed in our nuclear centers. IAEA has emphasized in all its reports that there are no indications of any irregularities in Iran. That is one side of this matter.

SPIEGEL: IAEA doesn't quite share your view of this matter.

Ahmadinejad: But the other side is that there are a number of countries that possess both nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. They use their atomic weapons to threaten other peoples. And it is these powers who say that they are worried about Iran deviating from the path of peaceful use of atomic energy. We say that these powers are free to monitor us if they are worried. But what these powers say is that the Iranians must not complete the nuclear fuel cycle because deviation from peaceful use might then be possible. What we say is that these countries themselves have long deviated from peaceful usage. These powers have no right to talk to us in this manner. This order is unjust and unsustainable.

SPIEGEL: But, Mr. President, the key question is: How dangerous will this world become if even more countries become nuclear powers -- if a country like Iran, whose president makes threats, builds the bomb in a crisis-ridden region?

Ahmadinejad: We're fundamentally opposed to the expansion of nuclear-weapons arsenals. This is why we have proposed the formation of an unbiased organization and the disarmament of the nuclear powers. We don't need any weapons. We're a civilized, cultured people, and our history shows that we have never attacked another country.

SPIEGEL: Iran doesn't need the bomb that it wants to build?

Ahmadinejad: It's interesting to note that European nations wanted to allow the shah's dictatorship the use of nuclear technology. That was a dangerous regime. Yet those nations were willing to supply it with nuclear technology. Ever since the Islamic Republic has existed, however, these powers have been opposed to it. I stress once again, we don't need any nuclear weapons.

We stand by our statements because we're honest and act legally. We're no fraudsters. We only want to claim our legitimate right. Incidentally, I never threatened anyone - that, too, is part of the propaganda machine that you've got running against me.

SPIEGEL: If this were so, shouldn't you be making an effort to ensure that no one need fear your producing nuclear weapons that you might use against Israel, thus possibly unleashing a world war? You're sitting on a tinderbox, Mr. President.

Ahmadinejad: Allow me to say two things. No people in the region are afraid of us. And no one should instill fear in these peoples. We believe that if the United States and these two or three European countries did not interfere, the peoples in this region would live peacefully together as they did in the thousands of years before. In 1980, it was also the nations of Europe and the United States that encouraged Saddam Hussein to attack us.

Our stance with respect to Palestine is clear. We say: Allow those to whom this country belongs to express their opinion. Let Jews, Christians and Muslims say what they think. The opponents of this proposal prefer war and threaten the region. Why are the United States and these two or three European nations opposed to this? I believe that those who imprison Holocaust researchers prefer war to peace. Our stance is democratic and peaceful.

SPIEGEL: The Palestinians have long gone a step further than you and recognize Israel as a fact, while you still wish to erase it from the map. The Palestinians are ready to accept a two-state solution while you deny Israel its right to existence.

Ahmadinejad: You're wrong. You saw that the Palestinian people elected Hamas in free elections. We argue that neither you nor we should claim to speak for the Palestinian people. The Palestinians themselves should say what they want. In Europe it is customary to call a referendum on any issue. We should also give the Palestinians the opportunity to express their opinion.

SPIEGEL: The Palestinians have the right to their own state, but in our view the Israelis naturally have the same right.

Ahmadinejad: Where did the Israelis come from?

SPIEGEL: Well, if we tried to work out where people have come from, the Europeans would have to return to east Africa where all humans originated.

Ahmadinejad: We're not talking about the Europeans; we're talking about the Palestinians. The Palestinians were there, in Palestine. Now 5 million of them have become refugees. Don't they have a right to live?

SPIEGEL: Mr. President, doesn't there come a time when one should accept that the world is the way it is and that we must accept the status quo? The war against Iraq has put Iran in a favorable position. The United States has suffered a de facto defeat in Iraq. Isn't it now time for Iran to become a constructive power of peace in the Middle East? Which would mean giving up its nuclear plans and inflammatory talk?

Ahmadinejad: I'm wondering why you're adopting and fanatically defending the stance of the European politicians. You're a magazine, not a government. Saying that we should accept the world as it is would mean that the winners of World War II would remain the victorious powers for another 1,000 years and that the German people would be humiliated for another 1,000 years. Do you think that is the correct logic?

SPIEGEL: No, that's not the right logic, nor is it true. The Germans have played a modest, but important role in post-war developments. They do not feel as though they have been humiliated and dishonored since 1945. We are too self-confident for that. But today we want to talk about Iran's current mission.

Ahmadinejad: Then we would accept that Palestinians are killed every day, that they die in terrorist attacks, and that houses are being destroyed. But let me say something about Iraq. We have always favored peace and security in the region. For eight years, the Western countries provided arms to Saddam in the war against us, including chemical weapons, and gave him political support. We were against Saddam and suffered severely because of him, so we're happy that he has been toppled. But we don't accept a whole country being swallowed under the pretext of wanting to topple Saddam. More than 100,000 Iraqis have lost their lives under the rule of the occupying forces. Fortunately, the Germans haven't been involved in this. We want security in Iraq.

SPIEGEL: But, Mr. President, who is swallowing Iraq? The United States has practically lost this war. By cooperating constructively, Iran might help the Americans consider their retreat from the country.

Ahmadinejad: This is very interesting: The Americans occupy the country, kill people, sell the oil and when they have lost, they blame others. We have very close ties to the Iraqi people. Many people on both sides of the border are related. We have lived side by side for thousands of years. Our holy pilgrimage sites are located in Iraq. Just like Iran, Iraq used to be a center of civilization.

SPIEGEL: What are you trying to say?

Ahmadinejad: We have always said that we support the popularly elected government of Iraq. But in my view the Americans are doing a bad job. They have sent us messages several times asking us for help and cooperation. They have said that we should talk together about Iraq. We publicly accepted this offer, although our people do not trust the Americans. But America has responded negatively and insulted us. Even now we're contributing to security in Iraq. We will hold talks only if the Americans change their behavior.

SPIEGEL: Do you enjoy provoking the Americans and the rest of the world now and then?

Ahmadinejad: No, I'm not insulting anyone. The letter that I wrote to Mr. Bush was polite.

SPIEGEL: We don't mean insult, but provoke.

Ahmadinejad: No, we feel animosity toward no one. We're concerned about the American soldiers who die in Iraq. Why do they have to die there? This war makes no sense. Why is there war when there is reason as well?

SPIEGEL: Is your letter to the president also a gesture toward the Americans that you wish to enter into direct negotiations?

Ahmadinejad: We clearly stated our position in this letter on how we view the problems in the world. Some powers have befouled the political atmosphere in the world because they consider lies and fraud to be legitimate. In our view that is very bad. We believe that all people deserve respect. Relationships have to be regulated on the basis of justice. When justice reigns, peace reigns. Unjust conditions aren't sustainable, even if Ahmadinejad does not criticize them.

SPIEGEL: This letter to the American president includes a passage about Sept. 11, 2001. The quote: "How could such an operation be planned and implemented without the coordination with secret and security services or without the far-reaching infiltration of these services?" Your statements always include so many innuendos. What is that supposed to mean? Did the CIA help Mohammed Atta and the other 18 terrorists conduct their attacks?

Ahmadinejad: No, that's not what I meant. We think that they should just say who is to blame. They should not use Sept. 11 as an excuse to launch a military attack against the Middle East. They should take those who are responsible for the attacks to court. We're not opposed to that; we condemned the attacks. We condemn any attack against innocent people.

SPIEGEL: In this letter you also write that Western liberalism has failed. What makes you say that?

Ahmadinejad: You see, for example you have a thousand definitions of the Palestinian problem and you offer all sorts of different definitions of democracy in its various forms. It does not make sense that a phenomenon depends on the opinions of many individuals who are free to interpret the phenomenon as they wish. You can't solve the problems of the world that way. We need a new approach. Of course we want the free will of the people to reign, but we need sustainable principles that enjoy universal acceptance - such as justice. Iran and the West agree on this.

SPIEGEL: What role can Europe play in the resolution of the nuclear conflict, and what do you expect of Germany?

Ahmadinejad: We have always cultivated good relations with Europe, especially with Germany. Our two peoples like each other. We're eager to deepen this relationship.

Europe has made three mistakes with respect to our people. The first mistake was to support the Shah's government. This has left our people disappointed and discontent. However, by offering asylum to Imam Khomeini, France earned a special position that it lost again later. The second mistake was to support Saddam in his war against us. The truth is that our people expected Europe to be on our side, not against us. The third mistake was Europe's stance on the nuclear issue. Europe will be the big loser and will achieve nothing. We don't want to see that happen.

SPIEGEL: What will happen now in the conflict between the West and Iran?

Ahmadinejad: We understand the Americans' logic. They suffered damage as a result of the victory of the Islamic Revolution. But we're puzzled why some European countries are opposed to us. I sent out a message on the nuclear issue, asking why the Europeans were translating the Americans' words for us. After all, they know that our actions are aimed toward peace. By siding with Iran, the Europeans would serve their own and our interests. But they will suffer only damage if they oppose us. For our people is strong and determined.

The Europeans risk losing their position in the Middle East entirely, and they are ruining their reputation in other parts of the world. The others will think that the Europeans aren't capable of solving problems.

SPIEGEL: Mr. President, we thank you for this interview.

Source

May 09, 2006

 

Letter to President Bush

Mr George Bush, President of the United States of America

For some time now, I have been thinking, how one can justify the undeniable contradictions that exist in the international arena -- which are being constantly debated, especially in political forums and amongst university students. Many questions remain unanswered. These have prompted me to discuss some of the contradictions and questions, in the hope that it might bring about an opportunity to redress them.


Can one be a follower of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him -- PBUH), the great Messenger of God, Feel obliged to respect human rights, Present liberalism as a civilization model, Announce one's opposition to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and WMDs, Make War against Terror his slogan, and finally, Work towards the establishment of a unified international community – a community which Christ and the virtuous of the Earth will one day govern, But at the same time, Have countries attacked, The lives, reputations and possessions of people destroyed, and on the slight chance that there are criminals in a village, city, or convoy, for example, set the entire village, city or convoy ablaze? Or because of the possibility of the existence of WMDs in one country, it is occupied, around one hundred thousand people killed, its water resources, agriculture and industry destroyed, close to 180,000 foreign troops put on the ground, the sanctity of private homes of citizens broken, and the country pushed back perhaps fifty years. At what price? Hundreds of billions of dollars spent from the treasury of one country and certain other countries and tens of thousands of young men and women – as occupation troops – put in harm’s way, taken away from family and love ones, their hands stained with the blood of others, subjected to so much psychological pressure that every day some commit suicide and those returning home suffer depression, become sickly and grapple with all sorts of ailments; while some are killed and their bodies handed off to their families.

On the pretext of the existence of WMDs, this great tragedy came to engulf both the peoples of the occupied and the occupying country. Later it was revealed that no WMDs existed to begin with.

Of course Saddam was a murderous dictator. But the war was not waged to topple him, the announced goal of the war was to find and destroy weapons of mass destruction. He was toppled along the way towards another goal; nevertheless the people of the region are happy about it. I point out that throughout the many years of the war on Iran Saddam was supported by the West.

Mr President,
You might know that I am a teacher. My students ask me: How can these actions be reconciled with the values outlined at the beginning of this letter and duty to the tradition of Jesus Christ (PBUH), the Messenger of peace and forgiveness.

There are prisoners in Guantanamo Bay that have not been tried, have no legal representation, their families cannot see them and are obviously kept in a strange land outside their own country. There is no international monitoring of their conditions and fate. No one knows whether they are prisoners, POWs, accused or criminals.

European investigators have confirmed the existence of secret prisons in Europe too. I could not correlate the abduction of a person, and him or her being kept in secret prisons, with the provisions of any judicial system. For that matter, I fail to understand how such actions correspond to the values outlined in the beginning of this letter, i.e. the teachings of Jesus Christ (PBUH), human rights and liberal values.

Young people, university students and ordinary people have many questions about the phenomenon of Israel. I am sure you are familiar with some of them.
Throughout history many countries have been occupied, but I think the establishment of a new country with a new people is a new phenomenon that is exclusive to our times.

Students are saying that sixty years ago such a country did not exist. They show old documents and globes and say try as we have, we have not been able to find a country named Israel.

I tell them to study the history of WWI and II. One of my students told me that during WWII, in which tens of millions of people perished, news about the war was quickly disseminated by the warring parties. Each touted their victories and the most recent battlefront defeat of the other party. After the war, they claimed that six million Jews had been killed. Six million people that were surely related to at least two million families.

Again let us assume that these events are true. Does that logically translate into the establishment of the State of Israel in the Middle East or support for such a state? How can this phenomenon be rationalized or explained?

Mr President,
I am sure you know how – and at what cost – Israel was established: Many thousands were killed in the process.

Millions of indigenous people were made refugees.

Hundred of thousands of hectares of farmland, olive plantations, towns and villages were destroyed.

This tragedy is not exclusive to the time of its establishment; unfortunately, it has been ongoing for sixty years now.

A regime has been established which does not show mercy even to kids, destroys houses while the occupants are still in them, announces beforehand its list and plans to assassinate Palestinian figures and keeps thousands of Palestinians in prison. Such a phenomenon is unique – or at the very least extremely rare – in recent memory.

Another big question asked by people is why is this regime being supported? Is support for this regime in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ (PBUH) or Moses (PBUH) or liberal values? Or are we to understand that allowing the original inhabitants of these lands – inside and outside Palestine – whether they are Christian, Muslim or Jew, to determine their fate, runs contrary to principles of democracy, human rights and the teachings of prophets? If not, why is there so much opposition to a referendum?

The newly elected Palestinian administration recently took office. All independent observes have confirmed that this government represents the electorate. Unbelievably, they have put the elected government under pressure and have advised it to recognize the Israeli regime, abandon the struggle and follow the programs of the previous government.

If the current Palestinian government had run on the above platform, would the Palestinian people have voted for it? Again, can such a position taken in opposition to the Palestinian government be reconciled with the values outlined earlier? The people are also saying why are all UNSC resolutions in condemnation of Israel vetoed?

Mr President,
As you are well aware, I live amongst the people and am in constant contact with them --many people from around the Middle East manage to contact me as well. They do not have faith in these dubious policies either. There is evidence that the people of the region are becoming increasingly angry with such policies.

It is not my intention to pose too many questions, but I need to refer to other points as well.

Why is it that any technological and scientific achievement reached in the Middle East regions is translated into and portrayed as a threat to the Zionist regime? Is not scientific R&D one of the basic rights of nations?

You are familiar with history. Aside from the Middle Ages, in what other point in history has scientific and technical progress been a crime? Can the possibility of scientific achievements being utilized for military purposes be reason enough to oppose science and technology altogether? If such a supposition is true, then all scientific disciplines, including physics, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, engineering, etc. must be opposed.

Lies were told in the Iraqi matter. What was the result? I have no doubt that telling lies is reprehensible in any culture, and you do not like to be lied to.

Mr President,
Don't Latin Americans have the right to ask why their elected governments are being opposed and coup leaders supported? Or, why must they constantly be threatened and live in fear?

The people of Africa are hardworking, creative and talented. They can play an important and valuable role in providing for the needs of humanity and contribute to its material and spiritual progress. Poverty and hardship in large parts of Africa are preventing this from happening. Don't they have the right to ask why their enormous wealth – including minerals – is being looted, despite the fact that they need it more than others?

Again, do such actions correspond to the teachings of Christ and the tenets of human rights?

The brave and faithful people of Iran, too, have many questions and grievances, including: the coup d'état of 1953 and the subsequent toppling of the legal government of the day, opposition to the Islamic revolution, transformation of an Embassy into a headquarters supporting the activities of those opposing the Islamic Republic (many thousands of pages of documents corroborate this claim), support for Saddam in the war waged against Iran, the shooting down of an Iranian passenger plane, freezing the assets of the Iranian nation, increasing threats, anger and displeasure vis-à-vis the scientific and nuclear progress of the Iranian nation (just when all Iranians are jubilant and collaborating in their country's progress), and many other grievances that I will not refer to in this letter.

Mr President,
September Eleven was a horrendous incident. The killing of innocents is deplorable and appalling in any part of the world. Our government immediately declared its disgust with the perpetrators and offered its condolences to the bereaved and expressed its sympathy.

All governments have a duty to protect the lives, property and good standing of their citizens. Reportedly your government employs extensive security, protection and intelligence systems – and even hunts its opponents abroad. September eleven was not a simple operation. Could it be planned and executed without coordination with intelligence and security services – or their extensive infiltration? Of course this is just an educated guess. Why have the various aspects of the attacks been kept secret? Why are we not told who botched their responsibilities? And, why aren't those responsible and the guilty parties identified and put on trial?

All governments have a duty to provide security and peace of mind for their citizens. For some years now, the people of your country and neighbours of world trouble spots do not have peace of mind. After 9/11, instead of healing and tending to the emotional wounds of the survivors and the American people – who had been immensely traumatized by the attacks – some Western media only intensified the climate of fear and insecurity – some constantly talked about the possibility of new terror attacks and kept the people in fear. Is that service to the American people? Is it possible to calculate the damage incurred from fear and panic?

American citizens lived in constant fear of fresh attacks that could come at any moment and in any place. They felt insecure in the streets, in their place of work and at home. Who would be happy with this situation? Why were the media, instead of conveying a feeling of security and providing peace of mind, giving rise to a feeling of insecurity?

Some believe that the hype paved the way – and was the justification – for an attack on Afghanistan. Again I need to refer to the role of the media. In media charters, correct dissemination of information and honest reporting of a story are established tenets. I express my deep regret about the disregard shown by certain Western media for these principles. The main pretext for an attack on Iraq was the existence of WMDs. This was repeated incessantly – for the public to, finally, believe – and the ground set for an attack on Iraq.

Will the truth not be lost in a contrived and deceptive climate? Again, if the truth is allowed to be lost, how can that be reconciled with the earlier mentioned values? Is the truth known to the Almighty lost as well?

Mr President,
In countries around the world, citizens provide for the expenses of governments so that their governments in turn are able to serve them.

The question here is what has the hundreds of billions of dollars, spent every year to pay for the Iraqi campaign, produced for the citizens?

As your Excellency is aware, in some states of your country, people are living in poverty. Many thousands are homeless and unemployment is a huge problem. Of course, these problems exist – to a larger or lesser extent – in other countries as well. With these conditions in mind, can the gargantuan expenses of the campaign – paid from the public treasury – be explained and be consistent with the aforementioned principles?

What has been said, are some of the grievances of the people around the world, in our region and in your country. But my main contention – which I am hoping you will agree to some of it – is: Those in power have specific time in office, and do not rule indefinitely, but their names will be recorded in history and will be constantly judged in the immediate and distant futures.

The people will scrutinize our presidencies.

Did we manage to bring peace, security and prosperity for the people or insecurity and unemployment? Did we intend to establish justice, or just supported special interest groups, and by forcing many people to live in poverty and hardship, made a few people rich and powerful – thus trading the approval of the people and the Almighty with theirs? Did we defend the rights of the underprivileged or ignore them? Did we defend the rights of all people around the world or imposed wars on them, interfered illegally in their affairs, established hellish prisons and incarcerated some of them? Did we bring the world peace and security or raised the specter of intimidation and threats? Did we tell the truth to our nation and others around the world or presented an inverted version of it? Were we on the side of people or the occupiers and oppressors? Did our administration set out to promote rational behaviour, logic, ethics, peace, fulfilling obligations, justice, service to the people, prosperity, progress and respect for human dignity or the force of guns, intimidation, insecurity, disregard for the people, delaying the progress and excellence of other nations, and trampling on people's rights? And finally, they will judge us on whether we remained true to our oath of office – to serve the people, which is our main task, and the traditions of the prophets – or not?

Mr President,
How much longer can the world tolerate this situation? Where will this trend lead the world to? How long must the people of the world pay for the incorrect decisions of some rulers? How much longer will the specter of insecurity – raised from the stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction – haunt the people of the world? How much longer will the blood of the innocent men, women and children be spilled on the streets, and people's houses destroyed over their heads? Are you pleased with the current condition of the world? Do you think present policies can continue?

If the billions of dollars spent on security, military campaigns and troop movements were instead spent on investment and assistance for poor countries, promotion of health, combating different diseases, education and improvement of mental and physical fitness, assistance to victims of natural disasters, creation of employment opportunities and production, development projects and poverty alleviation, establishment of peace, mediation between disputing states and extinguishing the flames of racial, ethnic and other conflicts, where would the world be today? Would not your government and people be justifiably proud? Would not your administration's political and economic standing have been stronger? And I am most sorry to say, would there have been an ever increasing global hatred of the American government?

Mr President, it is not my intention to distress anyone.

If the prophets Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ishmael, Joseph or Jesus Christ (PBUH) were with us today, how would they have judged such behaviour? Will we be given a role to play in the promised world, where justice will become universal and Jesus Christ (PBUH) will be present? Will they even accept us?

My basic question is this: Is there no better way to interact with the rest of the world? Today there are hundreds of millions of Christians, hundreds of millions of Moslems and millions of people who follow the teachings of Moses (PBUH). All divine religions share and respect one word and that is monotheism or belief in a single God and no other in the world.

The holy Koran stresses this common word and calls on all followers of divine religions and says: [3.64] “Say: O followers of the Book! Come to an equitable proposition between us and you that we shall not serve any but God and (that) we shall not associate aught with Him and (that) some of us shall not take others for lords besides God. But if they turn back, then say: Bear witness that we are Muslims. (From the Chapter “The Family of Imran”).

Mr President,
According to divine verses, we have all been called upon to worship God and follow the teachings of divine prophets. To worship a God which is above all powers in the world and can do all He pleases. The Lord which knows that which is hidden and visible, the past and the future, knows what goes on in the hearts of His servants and records their deeds. The Lord who is the possessor of the heavens and the earth and all universe is His court, planning for the universe is done by His hands, and who gives His servants the glad tidings of mercy and forgiveness of sins. He is the companion of the oppressed and the enemy of oppressors. He is the Compassionate, the Merciful. He is the recourse of the faithful and guides them towards the light from darkness. He is witness to the actions of His servants. He calls on servants to be faithful and do good deeds, and asks them to stay on the path of righteousness and remain steadfast. He calls on his servants to heed His prophets, and He is a witness to their deeds. A bad ending belongs only to those who have chosen the life of this world and disobey Him and oppress His servants. And a good and eternal paradise belongs to those servants who fear His majesty and do not follow their lascivious selves.

We believe a return to the teachings of the divine prophets is the only road leading to salvation. I have been told that Your Excellency follows the teachings of Jesus (PBUH), and believes in the divine promise of the rule of the righteous on Earth.

We also believe that Jesus Christ (PBUH) was one of the great prophets of the Almighty. He has been repeatedly praised in the Koran. Jesus (PBUH) has been quoted in Koran as well: [19,36] “And surely Allah is my Lord and your Lord, therefore serve Him; this is the right path.” (The Chapter “Mariam.”)

Service to and obedience of the Almighty is the credo of all divine messengers.

The God of all peoples in Europe, Asia, Africa, America, the Pacific and the rest of the world is one. He is the Almighty who wants to guide and give dignity to all His servants. He has given greatness to humans.

We again read in the Holy Book: “The Almighty God sent His prophets with miracles and clear signs to guide the people and show them divine signs and purity them from sins and pollution. And He sent the Book and the balance so that the people display justice and avoid the rebellious.”

All of the above verses can be seen, one way or the other, in the Good Book as well.

Divine prophets have promised: The day will come when all humans will congregate before the court of the Almighty, so that their deeds are examined. The good will be directed towards Heaven and evildoers will meet divine retribution. I trust both of us believe in such a day, but it will not be easy to calculate the actions of rulers, because we must be answerable to our nations and all others whose lives have been directly or indirectly affected by our actions.

All prophets speak of peace and tranquility for humanity – based on monotheism, justice and respect for human dignity.

Do you not think that if all of us come to believe in and abide by these principles, that is, monotheism, worship of God, justice, respect for the dignity of humanity, belief in the Last Day, we can overcome the present problems of the world – that are the result of disobedience to the Almighty and the teachings of prophets – and improve our performance?

Do you not think that belief in these principles promotes and guarantees peace, friendship and justice?

Do you not think that the aforementioned written or unwritten principles are universally respected?

Will you not accept this invitation? That is, a genuine return to the teachings of prophets, to monotheism and justice, to preserve human dignity and obedience to the Almighty and His prophets?

Mr President, History tells us that repressive and cruel governments do not survive. God has entrusted the fate of humanity to them. The Almighty has not left the universe and humanity to their own devices. Many things have happened contrary to the wishes and plans of governments. These tell us that there is a higher power at work and all events are determined by Him.

Can one deny the signs of change in the world today? Is this situation of the world today comparable to that of ten years ago? Changes happen fast and come at a furious pace.

The people of the world are not happy with the status quo and pay little heed to the promises and comments made by a number of influential world leaders. Many people around the world feel insecure and oppose the spreading of insecurity and war and do not approve of and do not accept dubious policies.

The people are protesting the increasing gap between the haves and the have-nots and the rich and poor countries.

The people are disgusted with the increasing corruption.

The people of many countries are angry about the attacks on their cultural foundations and the disintegration of families. They are equally dismayed with the fading of care and compassion. The people of the world have no faith in international organizations, because their rights are not advocated by these organizations.

Liberalism and Western style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of humanity. Today these two concepts have failed. Those with insight can already hear the sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the liberal democratic systems.

We increasingly see that people around the world are flocking towards a main focal point – that is, the Almighty God. Undoubtedly through faith in God and the teachings of the prophets, the people will conquer their problems. My question for you is: Do you not want to join them?

Mr President,
Whether we like it or not, the world is gravitating towards faith in the Almighty and justice and the will of God will prevail over all things.

Vasalam Ala Man Ataba'al hoda (“Blessed are the followers of truth”)
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran


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