September 25, 2007

New Speech at UN General Assembly

Mr. Chairman, Honorable Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased and grateful to the Almighty to have the opportunity once again to attend this important universal forum.

In the present tumultuous world and predominance of loud outcries, threats and tensions, and in a time when the big powers are unable to solve the present problems, when mistrust in regional and international arenas is on the rise, when psychological security of societies is being targeted by an onslaught of political and propaganda designs, and disappointment prevails over efficacy of policies and actions of the international organizations in establishing durable peace and security, and the protection of human rights is being weakened, I plan to touch upon and explain the roots and ways out of these predicaments and some of the principal challenges facing our world. I will also speak to you about the need for amending the present situation, the prospects for a brighter and more hopeful future, and about the reappearance of the sublime and beauty, kindness and dignity, justice and blossoming of all divine human talents and dominance of love of God and realization of the promise of God as stated by all divine prophets and righteous men. I will then put to your judgment the nuclear issue of Iran as a reality and testing ground for measurement of honesty, efficacy, steadfastness and victories. In the closing part of my address, I will offer my proposals.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As you are all aware we are presently facing important, numerous and diverse challenges; I will refer to some of them.

1- Organized attempts to tear down the institution of family and to reduce the status of women

The family is the most sacred and valuable human institution that serves as the center of the purest mutual love and affection of mothers, fathers and children, and a safe environment for the upbringing and cultivating human generations, and a fertile ground for blossoming of sentiments and emotions. This institution has always been respected by all nationalities, religions and cultures.

Today we are witnessing an organized invasion by the enemies of humanity and plunderers to tear down this genuine institution. They target this noble institution by promoting lewdness, violence and breaking the boundaries of chastity and decency.

The precious status of women as the expression of divine beauty and peak of kindness, affection and purity has been the target of heavy exploitation over the recent decades by the holders of power and owners of media and wealth. In some societies, this beloved creature has been reduced to mere instruments of publicity and all boundaries and protective shields of chastity, purity and beauty have been trampled. This is a colossal betrayal of human society, of succeeding generations, and an irreparable blow to social coherence.

2. Widespread Violations of Human Rights, Terrorism and Occupation

Unfortunately human rights are being extensively violated by certain powers, especially by those who pretend to be their exclusive advocates. Setting up clandestine prisons, abductions, trials and secret punishments without any regard to due process, listening on telephone conversations, opening private letters and frequent summons to police and security centers have become commonplace and prevalent. They prosecute scientists and historians for stating their opinions on important global issues. They are using different alibis to occupy sovereign nations and cause chaos and divisions, and then use the prevailing situation as an excuse to continue their occupation. For more than sixty years, Palestine, as compensation of the loss they incurred in the war in Europe, has been under occupation of the illegal Zionist regime. Their people have been displaced or are under heavy military pressure, economic siege or are incarcerated under abhorrent conditions. The occupiers are protected and praised, while innocent people of Palestine are subjected to political, military and propaganda onslaughts. The people of Palestine are deprived of water, electricity and medicine for the sin of asking for freedom, and their government that has come from the votes of the people is targeted. Terrorists are being organized to attack the lives and property of people, under auspices of politicians and military officials of the big powers.

The brutal Zionists carry out targeted assassinations of Palestinians in their homes and cities, and terrorists receive medals of peace and support from the big powers. On the other hand they gather a number of deprived Jewish people with false propaganda under the pretext of providing them with welfare, job and food from different parts of the world and settle them in the occupied territories and expose them to harshest restrictions, psychological pressures and constant threat. They prevent these deprived people to return to their homelands, and by use of force and false propaganda make them show hatred towards indigenous Palestinian people.

Iraq was occupied under the pretext of overthrow of a dictator and existence of weapons of mass destruction. The Iraqi dictator who had been supported by the same occupiers was disposed of, and no weapons were discovered, but the occupation continues under different excuses. No day passes without people being killed, wounded or displaced, and the occupiers not only refuse to be accountable and ashamed, but speak in a report of a new market for their armaments as the result of their military venture. They even oppose the constitution, national assembly and the government arising from the votes of the people, while they do not even have the courage to declare their defeat and exit Iraq.

Unfortunately we are witnessing this bitter truth that some powers do not put value on any nation or human beings, and the only things that matters to them are themselves, their parties and groups.

In their view, human rights are tantamount to profits for their companies and friends. The rights and the good name of the American people are also being sacrificed for the selfish desires of those holding power.

3. Aggressions against Indigenous Cultures and National Values

Culture is the expression of identity and the key to survival of nations and the foundation for their interaction with others. In an organized movement, indigenous cultures that are messengers of monotheism, love and fraternity are being subjected to broad and destructive aggressions.
National customs and values are humiliated and self-esteem and character of nations are ridiculed and defamed. The purpose is to promote blind emulations, consumerism, skeptics toward God and human values, and plundering of their wealth by big powers.

4. Poverty, illiteracy, Health Deprivation and Gap between the Poor and the Rich

While a major part of the natural environment in Asia, Africa and Latin America is being plundered by political and economic domination by certain powers. The situation of poverty and deprivation is very alarming. These are some numbers by the United Nations:

Every day close to 800 million people go to bed hungry and about 980 million suffer from absolute poverty, with less than one dollar a day in purchasing power.

People of 31 countries, equivalent to 9 percent of the world's population, have an average life expectancy equaling to 46 years, which is 32 years less than the average of some countries.

The ratio between the rich and the poor in some parts of the world is 40 times. In some countries, the majority of people are deprived of access to education and schooling. In many developing countries, the maternal mortality rate during pregnancy is 450 per 100,000. This ratio is 7 in the richer nations and the ratio of mortality of new births is 59 for developing countries and 6 for the richer nations. One-third of mortality in the world, or 50,000 daily, results from poverty. I believe these numbers clearly demonstrate the tragic situation prevailing over the global economy.

5. Ignoring Noble Values and Promotion of Deception and Lies

Some powers sacrifice all human values, including honesty, purity and trust for the advancement of their goals. They propagate skepticism and deception in relations between states and peoples. They lie openly, level baseless charges against others, act contrary to legal norms and damage the climate of trust and friendship. They openly abandon morality and noble values in their relations with others, and substitute selfishness, supremacy, enmity and imposition for justice, respect, love, affection and honesty.

They sacrifice all the good things of life and the sublime to their own greed.

6. Violations of Rules of International Law and Disrespect of Commitments

Some who were themselves the drafters of international law openly and easily violate them and apply discriminatory policies and double standards. They drafted disarmament regulations, but every day test and stockpile new generations of lethal weapons. They framed the Charter of the United Nations, but show disrespect to the right of self-determination and independence of sovereign nations. They conveniently abrogate their formal treaties, and do not yield to laws concerning protection of the environment. Most of the violations of international obligations are done by a few global powers.

7. Escalation of Threats and Arms Race

Some powers, whenever their logic fails, simply use the language of threats. The heavy arms race cast the shadow of threats over the globe. The nations of Europe were the victims of two world wars and a number of other devastating conflicts and were subjected to the consequences of the Cold War for many decades. Today Europeans are living under the shadow of threats, and their interests, security and lands are endangered under the shadow of the arms race imposed by certain big powers.

A bullying power allows itself the right to set up a missile system, makes the life of the peoples of a continent bitter and lays the ground for an arms race. Some rulers who superficially appear to be powerful act as a child that has acquired a plastic water gun and feels powerful and starts shooting impatiently at all things and at all times, threaten others and cast the shadow of insecurity over nations and regions.

8. Inefficacy of International Mechanisms to prevail over these challenges and to bring durable peace and security

International organizations and mechanisms clearly lack the capacity to overcome problems and challenges, to put in place fair and just relations and peace, fraternity and security. There is hardly any government or nation that places much hope in these mechanisms to secure its rights or defend its independence, territorial integrity and national interests.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The challenges are a lot more than the ones I enumerated and I know that you would have presented many more if you wanted to dwell on them, but I chose to confine myself to the ones I stated.

Now, the important and decisive question concerns the roots and causes of these challenges. A scientific and careful analysis shows that the root of the present situation lies in two fundamental factors. Without doubt, the first factor lies in the relations arising from the consequences of the Second World War.

The victors of the war drew the roadmap for global domination and formulated their policies not on the basis of justice but for ensuring the interests of victors over the vanquished nations. Therefore, mechanisms arising from this approach and the related policies have not been capable of finding just solutions for global problems for 60 years. Some big powers still carry the conduct of the victors of a world war and regard other states and nations, even those that had nothing to do with the war, as the vanquished, and humiliate other nations and demand extortion from the condescending position similar to feudals and peasants of the medieval age. They regard themselves superior to others and are not accountable to any government or international body.

Colleagues, Mr. Chairman,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Among all the ineffective organizations, unfortunately, the UN Security Council ranks first. They have created circumstances in which some powers with exclusive and special right to veto in the Security Council act as prosecutor, Judge and executioner, regardless of being a defendant or respondent. It is natural that countries that have been subjected to their infringements have no hope to get what they deserve from the Council.

Unfortunately, humanity has witnessed that in all long wars, like the Korean and Vietnam wars, the war of the Zionists against Palestinians and Lebanon, the war of Saddam against the people of Iran and ethnic wars of Europe and Africa, one of the members of the Security Council was one of the belligerents or supported one party against the other, usually the aggressor, or the conflict itself.

Look at Iraq, they first occupied the country and then received authorization from the Security Council, the same Council in which the same occupiers have the right of veto. Who should the people of Iraq complain about and to where should they take their complaints with hopes of securing their rights? We saw in Lebanon that some powers delayed the decisions of the Security Council hoping for the victory of the Zionist regime. However, when they became disappointed in that usurper regime's victory, they approved of a ceasefire to take effect. But the duty of the Security Council is to prevent the expansion of conflicts, to put in place the ceasefire and promote peace and safety. Who should the people of Lebanon complain about and where should they take their complaints to?

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The presence of some monopolist powers has prevented the Security Council from doing its main duties which are safeguarding peace and security based on justice. The credibility of the council has been tarnished and its efficacy in defending the rights of its members has been destroyed. Many nations have lost their confidence in the Council. Some other mechanisms like the monetary and banking mechanisms are in the same undesirable situation and have been turned into tools for the imposition of the wishes of some powers on other nations. It is evident that these mechanisms are not capable of responding to the current needs and solving the challenges and establishing fair and sustainable relations.

Dear Colleagues,

Again, there is no doubt that the second and more important factor is some big powers' disregard of morals, divine values, the teachings of prophets and directions specified by the all knowing God, as well as the rule of the sinful. How can the sinful that cannot even manage and control themselves, rule humanity and arrange its affairs? Unfortunately, they have put themselves in the position of God! They are in servitude to their own whims and desire to have everything for themselves. For them, human dignity and the lives, properties, and lands of others are no longer important. Humanity has had the deep wound caused by impious powers on its battered body. Today, the problems that people around the world face are mainly rooted in the disregard of human values and morals and also in the management by the impious.

Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The only sustainable way to the betterment of mankind, is the return to the teachings of divine prophets, monotheism, respect for the dignity of humans and the flow of love and affections in all relationships, ties and regulations. Then the structures should be reformed based on these. To fulfill this objective, I invite everybody to line up a front of fraternity, amity and sustainable peace based on monotheism and justice under the name of "Coalition for Peace" to prevent incursions and arrogance and propagate the culture of affection and justice. I hereby announce that with the help of all independent, justice-seeking and peace-loving nations, the Islamic Eepublic of Iran will be treading on this path. Monotheism, Justice and love for humans should dominate all the pillars of the UN and this organization has to be a reference for justice and every member of it has to enjoy equal spiritual and legal support.

The General Assembly as the representative of the international community shall be considered as the most important pillar of the UN in order, free from any pressure and threats of big powers, to take the required measures for reforming the UN structures and especially change the present status of the Security Council, and define new structures based on justice and democracy with the purpose to become responsive to the present requirements and be able to settle the existing challenges leading to the establishment of sustainable stability and security.


The nuclear issue of Iran is a clear example of the performance of such mechanisms and their prevailing concepts. As you all know, Iran is an official member of the International Atomic Energy Agency and has always observed its rules and regulations and has had the most extensive cooperation with this Agency in all aspects. All our nuclear work has been completely peaceful and transparent. According to the statute of the IAEA, any member has a number of rights and commitments. Actually, any member has to move on the peaceful path and, under the supervision of the Agency, assist other members and is entitled to be supported by the Agency and have access to the fuel cycle with the help the Agency and its members. So far, Iran has fulfilled all its obligations but has been deprived of other members' technical assistance and, even during some periods of time, of the Agency's support. For about 5 years, some of the aforementioned powers tried to deny the Iranian nation its rights by exerting pressure on IAEA.

They derailed Iran's nuclear issue of its legal path and politicized the atmosphere to impose their wishes, taking advantage of all their potentials. Iran spared no effort to build confidence. However, nothing satisfied them except the complete halt of all nuclear activities, even those related to research and university fields. They were only after depriving Iran of all its inalienable rights. Therefore, even those centers not involved in the fuel cycle or not in need of the supervision of the Agency were closed. After three years of negotiation and trying to build confidence, the Iranian nation came to the resolute conviction that the main concern of these powers is not the possible deviation of Iran from the rules and regulations of the Agency, but its scientific progress. If this trend continues, there will be no chance for Iran to enjoy its rights, not even in the next 20 years. Therefore, it has to be decided to follow up the issue on its right legal path that goes through the Agency away from illegitimate and political impositions by the arrogant powers. Of course, the Iranian nation has always been ready and now is prepared for constructive talks.

By abusing the Security Council, the arrogant powers have repeatedly accused Iran and even made military threats against it over the last two years. However, thanks to the faith in God and national unity, Iran has moved forward step by step and now our country is recognized as a country with the capacity for industrial scale fuel cycle production for peaceful uses.

Fortunately, the Agency has recently tried to regain its legal role as supporter of the rights of its members and supervisor of nuclear activities. We see this as a right approach adopted by the Agency. Previously, they illegally wished to politicize the Iranian nation's nuclear case, but today, thanks to the resistance of the Iranian nation, the issue is back at the Agency and I officially announce that in our opinion the nuclear issue of Iran is now closed and has turned into an ordinary matter. Today many questions have been raised on Iranian nuclear activities within IAEA by certain powers which shall be examined properly. Of course Iran has always been prepared to have constructive talks with all parties.

I would like to thank all the nations and countries that, during this hard juncture, defended the legal rights of my nation and motherland and also appreciate the members of the Non-Aligned Movement, our other friends in the Security Council, IAEA's Board of Governors, the committed and law-abiding experts of the Agency and its Director General for their insistence on the law. I would also like to announce that, unlike the monopolist powers, the Iranian nation is ready to offer to other members its experiences in the form of educational programs and based on the obligations of the Agency's statute and under its supervision.

Now I would like to address those who beleaguered the Iranian nation for about five years, offended and accused my people who have contributed to the history and civilization of the world, and to advise them to learn from their recent actions. They mistreated the Iranian nation but they have to be careful not to do the same with other nations and not to sacrifice the integrity of international organizations for the sake of their unlawful wishes. Today the nations of the world are wide awake, vigilant, and resistant. If you reform yourselves, the whole world will be reformed. Nations are inherently good and can coexist peacefully. They'd better try to serve their own people, and be sure that others do not need them. Is it not high time for these powers to return from the path of arrogance and obedience of Satan to the path of Godliness? Do they not like to be cleansed of their impurities, submit to the will of God and believe in him? Faith in God means believing in honesty, purity, justice and loving others!

They can be sure that they will benefit from purity, honesty, justice, loving and respecting human dignity. They can be sure that such attributes are considered to be more appropriate, valuable and beautiful by the nations of the world. This is the invitation of all divine prophets from Adam to Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ and Mohammed. If they answer the invitation, they will be saved and if they don't, the same thing that befell the people of the past will befall them.

According to holy Koran:

"One who does not answer the divine call should not think that he has weakened God on earth; he has no companion but God and he is clearly engulfed by darkness".

They have nothing of their own and cannot escape from the dominion of the rule of God and his will.

In this important gathering, I have to remind them of the following words of the Almighty in the Holy Quran:

"Do they not look at the powers and governments which came before them? If the people of the past had actually possessed something, they would have kept it and would not have let you to posses it now. God destroyed them because of their sins and nobody could protect them against the will of God".

They have to know that the ways and traditions based on oppression and injustice will be destroyed. Do they not see the signs of vigilance and resistance based on monotheism, philanthropy and the justice-seeking spirit of the nations of the world? Do they not notice the imminent fall of empires?

I hope that this invitation will have a practical answer.


Nations and countries don't have to obey the injustice of certain powers. These powers, because of the reasons already mentioned, have lost the competence to lead the world because of their hideous acts. I officially declare that the age of relations arising from the Second World War as well as materialistic thoughts based on arrogance and domination is well over now. Humanity has passed a perilous precipice and the age of monotheism, purity, affinity, respecting others, justice and true peace loving has commenced. It is the divine promise that the truth will be victorious and the earth will be inherited by the righteous. You, who are free, believers and the people of the world, put your trust in God. You, who crave for high values, wherever you are, try to prepare the grounds for the fulfillment of this great divine promise by serving the people and seeking justice.

The age of darkness will end, the prisoners will come back home, the occupied lands will be freed, Palestine and Iraq will be liberated from the domination of the occupiers and the people of Europe will be free of the pressures exerted by the Zionists. The tenderhearted and humanity loving governments will replace the aggressive and domineering ones. Human dignity will be regained. The pleasing aroma of justice will permeate the world and people will live together in a brotherly and affectionate manner. Striving in this way to give the rule to the righteous and the Promised One is actually the final cure for the wounds of humanity, the solution of all problems, and the establishment of love, beauty, justice and happiness all over the world. This belief and endeavor is the key to unity and constructive interactions among nations, countries, the people of the world and all true justice seekers.

Without any doubt, the Promised One who is the final Savior and the last heavenly message will come. In the company of all believers, justice-seekers and benefactors, he will establish the bright future and fill the world with justice and beauty. This is the promise of God, therefore it will be fulfilled. Let us have a role in the fulfillment of all this glory and beauty.

I wish for the bright future for all human beings and the dawn of liberation and freedom for all humans and the rule of love and affections all around the world as well as the elimination of oppression, hatred and violence. A wish which I think will be realized in the near future.


September 20, 2007

New Interview on CBS Program 60 Minutes (complete)

SCOTT PELLEY: Do you have a greeting to the American people?

MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD: In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful, I would like to greet the American people and the good nations around the world. Right now we are in the city of Tehran. It's in the afternoon of an autumn day. We're in the open air in a garden. And the air is pleasant. And fall, little by little, is settling in, mixing with the summer breeze, I guess. And I think that right now, you have different time zones obviously and different climates. You have early morning in the U.S. and other time zones perhaps approaching noon. So once again, greetings to you. I very much hope that nations around the world start their days with peace, friendship, and happiness.

PELLEY: Mr. President, do you intend to press your request to visit the World Trade Center site in New York?

AHMADINEJAD: Well, it was included in my program, if we have the time and the conditions are conducive, I will try to do that.

PELLEY: But the New York Police Department and others do not appear to want you there. Do you intend to go there anyway?

AHMADINEJAD: Well, over there, local officials need to make the necessary coordinations. If they can't do that, I won't insist.

PELLEY: Sir, what were you thinking? The World Trade Center site is the most sensitive place in the American heart, and you must have known that visiting there would be insulting to many, many Americans.

AHMADINEJAD: Why should it be insulting?

PELLEY: Well, sir, you're the head of government of an Islamist state that the United States government says is a major exporter of terrorism around the world.

AHMADINEJAD: Well, I wouldn't say that what the American government says is the prerequisite here. Something happened there which led to other events. Many innocent people were killed there. Some of those people were American citizens obviously. We obviously are very much against any terrorist action and any killing. And also we are very much against any plots to sow the seeds of discord among nations. Usually you go to these sites to pay your respects. And also to perhaps air your views about the root causes of such incidents. I think that when I do that, I will be paying, as I said earlier, my respect to the American nation.

PELLEY: But the American people, sir, believe that your country is a terrorist nation, exporting terrorism in the world. You must have known that visiting the World Trade Center site would infuriate many Americans, as if to be mocking the American people.

AHMADINEJAD: Well, I'm amazed. How can you speak for the whole of the American nation?

PELLEY: Well, the American nation . . .

AHMADINEJAD: . . . you are representing a media and you're a reporter. The American nation is made up of 300 million people. There are different points of view over there. I would like to think that the points of view of the American people is very close to the points of view of the Iranian people. The American people are very much against and opposed to what certain American officials are saying and their points of view. And also the way that the people have voted in the American elections is very telling. And we are criticizing such behavior on the part of the American government. We believe that if anyone just allows himself to accuse others, there will be no possibility for peace and friendship.

PELLEY: What do you mean the American election is telling? What did you take from it?

AHMADINEJAD: What I'm saying is that the American people very clearly have shown that they do not endorse what certain American officials are saying and doing. I remind you of the rallies in Washington a couple of days ago. What were they saying and shouting? Perhaps 70, 80 percent of the American people are against their troops, their sons and daughters being in Iraq and war. And as I said, they're very much against war. And for that matter, the American people are peace-loving people. You shouldn't think that what the American officials are doing and their behavior reflects completely the mood of the American people. And American officials must not make the American people a victim of their wants and wishes. And we make a distinction between the American people and American officials. And the American people are opposed to occupation, the use of force, and also terrorism, the killing of the people of other nations. And this is what we are saying. This is what we believe in. With that in mind, we feel very close to the American people. And I'm sure that this is reciprocal. A couple of days ago, an American scientist, a scholar, wrote to me saying that he has a great love for Iran. And once he passes, he wants to be buried in this country. The two nations are very close to one another.

PELLEY: Mr. President, you say that the two nations are very close to one another, but it is an established fact now that Iranian bombs and Iranian know-how are killing Americans in Iraq. You have American blood on your hands. Why?

AHMADINEJAD: Well, this is what the American officials are saying. Again, American officials wherever around the world that they encounter a problem which they fail to resolve, instead of accepting that, they prefer to accuse others. We basically are very much opposed to any kind of insecurity inside Iraq. Because once we have insecurity in Iraq, the first party that will be affected would be Iran. Having said that, we fully oppose occupation and also military attacks. In Iraq we don't need to do that. For that matter, in any part of the world we don't need to do that. When it comes to war, we don't think that war, belligerence, is a good solution for differences of opinion. We have said in the past to American officials that the Iraqi people very much oppose occupation. And they will not accept this. And experience tells you this. This is a nation with many thousands of years of history. They have stood up to occupiers in the past, and they will stand up again. I'm very sorry that, because of the wrong decisions taken by American officials, Iraqi people are being killed and also American soldiers. It's very regrettable. And, again, I'm saying that why should they be killed? Why should these boys and girls be killed? Why should we have war in Iraq and insecurity? I believe that the people behind the insecurity are those who, from thousands of kilometers away, have brought in troops. First, they said that they want to topple the dictator and find WMDs [weapons of mass destruction]. They didn't find WMDs and there's no dictator there anymore. So the question is: What are American troops doing right now in Iraq? They have to answer, respond to these questions. We are not interfering in Iraq. The Iraqi people are our friends. And the president, the prime minister, the speaker of the parliament are our friends. We don't need to interfere in Iraq. We are two nations which have been connected through history. Each year millions of Iranians go to Iraq for pilgrimage. And in a number of these bombings inside Iraq, Iranian citizens have been killed. We want peace; we want security in Iraq; and it only serves our own interests. And those American officials who see the interest in a continued occupation of Iraq, I ask them to reconsider. They should leave alone the Iraqi nation and also their own soldiers. And they shouldn't accuse others needlessly. We basically oppose the killing of any person, innocent persons, from any race or community. As I said, the Iraqi people have been victimized. We feel very sad for them. Equally, we feel sad for American soldiers and troops because they don't know why they're there. They are the victims of the, if you will, the wants and wishes of certain American officials.

PELLEY: Mr. President, American men and women are being killed by your weapons in Iraq. You know this.

AHMADINEJAD: No, no, no.

PELLEY: Why are those weapons there?

AHMADINEJAD: Who's saying that?

PELLEY: The American Army has captured Iranian missiles in Iraq. The critical elements of the explosively formed penetrator bombs that are killing so many people are coming from Iran. There's no doubt about that anymore. The denials are no longer credible, sir.

AHMADINEJAD: Very good. If I may: Are you an American politician? Am I to look at you as an American politician or a reporter? This is what the American officials are claiming. Well, we don't need to arrest many people to prove that Americans are occupying Iraq or produce fabricated documents. If you go to the streets of Baghdad, you will see American helicopters and tanks and Humvees, so on and so forth. So the Iraqi people are just defending themselves. I think the way out for the American official from this problem that it has created for itself shouldn't be in accusing Iran. You need to understand the realities of the region and also respect the Iraqi people. The Iraqi people, like other people, want to have security, want to have peace, want to be free. When they see that soldiers come into their houses, they react. So if the American government does accept this reality, this truth, everything will changes. If they accuse us 1,000 times, the truth will not change. They need to accept the truth and also the wishes of the Iraqi people. That is a way out of this deadlock.

PELLEY: Mr. President, I want to be very direct and very clear. Many Americans believe that you have American blood on your hands. Are you saying that it is not the policy of this government to send weapons into Iraq? Sir, forgive me, you're smiling, but this is a very serious matter to America.

AHMADINEJAD: Well, it's serious for us as well. I daresay it's serious for everyone. I'm just amazed as the representative of the media, why do you insist on the untrue accusations leveled by your government? This doesn't solve anything. It seems to me it's laughable for someone to turn a blind eye to the truth and accuse others. It doesn't help. And the reason that I'm smiling, again, it's because that the picture is so clear. But American officials refuse to see it. And I think that as a member of the media, your responsibility here is to talk about the truth and back home to force your officials to appreciate the truth and take the correct decision. The problem in Iraq doesn't have anything to do with the Iraqi people. For that matter the killing of American troops doesn't have anything to do with the Iraqi people. And as we have security, things will be better. And we don't want to see a single soldier killed. The solutions we are putting on the table are very humane. And, again, we are asking for very basic things from the American officials, to respect the wishes of the Iraqi people and also their rights. A dictator has been toppled and WMDs have not been found. If they persist on the same course for 50 years and arrest diplomats, so on and so forth, this will not help with the situation. And if you repeat the mistakes of the past, nothing will get resolved.

PELLEY: Mr. President, you must have rejoiced more than anyone when Saddam Hussein fell. You owe President Bush. This is one of the best things that's ever happened to your country.

AHMADINEJAD: Well, I have said this in another interview. Once the dictator was toppled, many people were happy. But the American government did not appropriately use this golden opportunity. Again, this happened sometime ago and it pleased the Iraqi people. They could have used this much better. They should have left the Iraqi people to go their own way and to determine their own fate and to live like other nations in this part of the world. Well, initially, we might have had the impression that American officials want to redeem themselves and the mistakes they have made in the past. Because for eight years they supported Saddam against my nation. Many hundreds of thousands of people were killed. Thousands of people were chemically bombarded. Many people were killed in their own houses. This very city of Tehran was the target of more than 100 missiles. Many people were killed in Tehran. But Saddam was being supported by American officials. So once American officials announced that they were going to deal with Saddam, our first impression was that they're going to make amends for their past behavior. We have every hope and we were happy. But once Saddam went away, they didn't find any weapons, American officials later announced that we are here to stay in Iraq. So there was a question: Why do you want to be there? Why do you want to stay behind? Do you think that the Iraqi people cannot take care of themselves? They can determine their own fate. I think that their first and biggest mistake was to remain in Iraq. If they had left Iraq, that would have helped with positive interaction between the American government and the peoples of the region. But they stayed behind and they appointed an American administrator and they tried to influence the elections and also the future government in Iraq, and later they tried to sow the seeds of discord and also give a free hand to terrorist groups to come inside Iraq. So once a country is occupied, its security is the responsibility of the occupation. However, they have to answer for all of these. Many thousands of American soldiers have been killed. They need to answer for their action. Instead of answering these questions, they are accusing others. So initially we welcomed the developments, but once it continued, this is very regrettable.

PELLEY: Mr. President, can you tell me that you are not sending weapons to Iraq? Very simple. Very directly.

AHMADINEJAD: We don't need to do that. We are very much opposed to war and insecurity in Iraq.

PELLEY: Is that "no," sir?

AHMADINEJAD: It's very clear, the situation. The insecurity in Iraq is detrimental to our interests. We have more than 1,000 kilometers of common borders with Iraq. Each year, many millions of Iranians go to Iraq and millions of Iraqis come to Iran. So we are very unhappy with the insecurity. We are doing our very best to help with security. For security, we decided to sit down and talk with Americans in Iraq.

PELLEY: As a goodwill gesture, will you say right now in this interview that you will do everything in your power to prevent Iranian arms from entering Iraq?

AHMADINEJAD: Well, Iranian forces are not inside Iraq. Can you show me one?

PELLEY: No sir, Iranian arms, sir.

AHMADINEJAD: Please, allow me to continue. Please, allow me to finish my thought. The American government has admitted that with more than 160,000 troops, state-of-the-art military equipment, they have failed to control and put a stop to the activities of these few people. That's very unfortunate. You shouldn't accuse others because you have certain problems yourself. Very clearly, we are friends to all. We very much are saddened with war. We are very much saddened that American troops are being killed, losing their lives over there. So you don't know the people of the region. I think that the British government was smarter. They left the city of Basra, pulled out their forces. And once the British soldiers left the city, the local people celebrated. And today, unfortunately, you're opposing the Iraqi people. You could have stood side by side with the Iraqi people. Again, whenever you correct your policies, it helps everyone. It benefits you. It benefits Iraq. It benefits all the peoples of the region. We're using everything in our power to provide security in Iraq. We have said so on many occasions. Whoever is killed in Iraq, that would sadden us.

PELLEY: Mr. President, we appreciate your thoughts. Some people watching this interview, frankly, will think that you're dodging the questions because many of the questions that I ask you are fairly straightforward "yes" or "no" questions. And let me try this one again, if I may. Will you pledge tonight to do everything in your power to prevent Iranian arms from entering Iraq? Can you make that pledge?

AHMADINEJAD: Well, I think you have been charged with a mission to repeat a sentence over and over again. My comments are very clear. I think that you should go back and take American officials to task. Use the same force you're using right now so that they take the troops out.

PELLEY: Was that a "yes" or a "no," sir?

AHMADINEJAD: If you are to take sides, well, I don't know. Well, you shouldn't tell me what kind of answer I should give to you. You're free to ask me questions. I didn't put any limitations on your questions.


AHMADINEJAD: I'm free to give my own answers. I think that all of us should go to American officials and ask them: "What are you looking for in Iraq? Let's be clear. Why have you stayed behind? Why are you accusing others? And your policies have created insecurity. You are behind terrorism. So once you correct your ways, these things will take care of themselves. Why are you using a road that goes to nowhere? Use the correct road. We support the rights of all nations. We love all nations. And the message of the Iranian people is friendship with all. In our history, we have never attacked another country, occupied another country. This is a peace-loving nation. And you should remember that we are living within our borders. And people who have brought troops from thousands of miles away, they are the ones who should be held accountable and responsible.

PELLEY: Mr. President, you say you love all nations. I have to assume that includes the Nation of Israel.

AHMADINEJAD: Israel is not a nation. Well, we like the people, yes, because they are victims as well. They used to live in their own countries, in their own cities. They were given empty promises, false promises. They said that we are going to give you jobs, we are going to give you security. And they pushed the local Palestinian people out and made them refugees and also made refugees of another community. In other words, from thousands of miles away, people have been emigrating to this country and they are living in fear every day. And we feel for them. Last year in my speech I said that the Zionist entity should open the borders and the gates. Let the people decide where they want to go and settle. They are good people as well. We have no bones to pick with them. We are against terrorism. We are against wrong policies. We are friends with all people, Jewish people, Christians, different people of different faiths. We are, well, we're in contact with them. Here in Iran there are Jewish communities; there are Christian communities; we're all friends. Also, non-Muslim countries, we help them when a natural calamity breaks. We love all people. We are opposed to Zionism, occupation, terrorism, dropping bombs on people when they are inside their own homes, killing men, women, and children. Very openly I have said time and again that I oppose these.

PELLEY: If the Palestinians reach an agreement with Israel for a two-state solution, will you then recognize Israel as well?

AHMADINEJAD: Well, the decision rests with the Palestinian people. This is exactly what I'm saying.

PELLEY: What would you do, sir?

AHMADINEJAD: What we are saying, our solution for Palestine is a humane one. We are saying that you should allow the Palestinian people to participate in a fair and free election and determine their own fate. Whatever decision they take, everyone should go with that.

PELLEY: And if that decision . . .

AHMADINEJAD: No other party must interfere. We are not telling the Palestinian people what decisions they should take. Let them make their own decision. Whatever decision they take, we will go for that.

PELLEY: And if that decision is a two-state solution, you're good with that? You could support a two-state solution?

AHMADINEJAD: Well, why are you prejudging what will happen? Let's pave the ground first for a free and fair choice. And once they make their choice, we must respect that. All the Palestinian people must be given this opportunity, allow them to make their own decisions. Let us not tell them what course of action they need to take.

PELLEY: You have said in the past that you have 3,000 centrifuges in a line producing highly-enriched uranium. Do you have more now?

MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD: No. Our plan and program is very transparent. We are under the supervision of the agency. Everything is on the table. We have nothing to hide.

PELLEY: Transparent? Sir, it's been hidden for more than 15 years. You've been operating a secret nuclear program. It's nothing if it's not secret.

AHMADINEJAD: Who is saying that?

PELLEY: Well, the IAEA. You've, in fact, agreed with the IAEA to confess what you've done in secret over the past years. It is not transparent, sir.

AHMADINEJAD: Very good. I think that you are not familiar with the structure and the laws and the regulations of the agency. The agency is supposed to do two things. One, supervision. The other, support for the member states. The agency is supposed to supervise and ask questions and we respond. Interestingly enough, in all agency reports, you will read that there are no signs of diversion on the part of the Iranian people. In no reports. But naturally, the agency has questions to ask. And when it comes to that, interestingly enough, compared to European countries and other countries, the questions they ask us are far fewer. They have scores of questions to ask other countries. But the U.S. and a number of other countries are politicizing matters. They don't want us to progress, to develop. So maybe it would be best if you ask the agency how many questions they have asked the U.S. and European countries for that matter. Scores of questions. Because they are producing bombs, new generations of nuclear bombs, they are fabricating those. And our activities are very peaceful under the supervision of the agency. We have provided the largest amount of cooperation to the agency. And what we are doing is very transparent.

PELLEY: For the sake of clarity, because there is so much concern in the world about this next question, please give me the most direct answer you can. Is it your goal to build a nuclear bomb?
AHMADINEJAD: What are you driving at?

PELLEY: Simply that, sir. Is it the goal of your government, the goal of this nation to build a nuclear weapon?

AHMADINEJAD: Do you think that the nuclear technology is only limited in a bomb? You can only build a bomb with that?

PELLEY: No, I appreciate the differences, sir, but the question is limited to the bomb.

AHMADINEJAD: It has different uses. Well, you have to appreciate we don't need a nuclear bomb. We don't need that. What needs do we have for a bomb?

PELLEY: May I take that as a "no," sir?

AHMADINEJAD: Please, let me finish my thought. It is a firm "no." I'm going to be much firmer now. I want to address all politicians around the world, statesmen. Any party who uses national revenues to make a bomb, a nuclear bomb, will make a mistake. Because in political relations right now, the nuclear bomb is of no use. If it was useful, it would have prevented the downfall of the Soviet Union. If it was useful, it would have resolved the problems the Americans have in Iraq. The U.S. has tested new generations of bombs, many thousands of warheads you have in your arsenals. It's of no use. And also the Zionist entity, they have hundreds of warheads. It's not going to help them. The time of the bomb is past. The parties who think that by using the bomb you can control others, they are wrong. Today we are living in the era of intellectual pursuits. You should spend your money on your people. We don't need the bomb. For 28 years we have defended ourselves in the face of enemy onslaught. Every day we are becoming more powerful. And, again, we don't need such weapons. In fact, we think that this is inhuman. So can you please tell me why the U.S. government is fabricating these bombs? Do you want to provide more welfare, happiness to the people through the bomb? Are you going to deal with global poverty? Or do you want to kill people? So our belief, sir, tell us and also our culture, because of these, we are very much opposed to the killing of people. This is very clear.

PELLEY: At the moment, our two countries may very well be walking down the road to war. How do you convince President Bush, how do you convince other nations in the West . . . .

AHMADINEJAD: What two parties are walking towards war?

PELLEY: Iran, the United States, Western countries. France this week . . . .

AHMADINEJAD: Who says that?

PELLEY: France this week said that war might be indicated. How do you convince these Western powers that you are not pursuing a bomb?

AHMADEINEJAD: You haven't read the latest news, I have to say. It's wrong to think that Iran and the U.S. are walking towards war. Who says so? Why should we go to war? What reasons are there for the two countries to go to war? We have a logic which we have announced for some time now. We very much oppose the behavior of the U.S. administration. We think it's wrong. And we are saying what we feel, and you are free to say what you feel. And people have a right to choose. Why should we go to war over that? If having said that is a part of a psychological warfare plot, the American people are well familiar with these plots. You shouldn't make the American people afraid needlessly. There's no war in the offing. And also I think that certain American officials do not want friendly relations between the two countries and the citizens of the two countries to visit each other. Last year we requested for a direct flight between the two countries because we want to promote trade, promote cultural activities, and also people-to-people contact. But the American government opposed that. There is no war in the offing. Again, this is psychological warfare. If you have differences of opinions, you can use logic to resolve your differences.

PELLEY: You can show the world today that you are not pursuing a bomb. All you have to do is give the order. Open your nuclear facilities. Let the United Nations inspectors in there today and prove that there is no bomb program. Why not take that course?

AHMADEINEJAD: I think that you are a little bit behind the day's news. You might have been away on an assignment. I don't know.

PELLEY: I'm familiar with the day's news.

AHMADEINEJAD: The reports say that we have been complying. And they are inspecting all of our sites every day. What more am I supposed to do? So, I try to be as frank as possible, but . . . .

PELLEY: You're opening the sites slowly over time, sir. People say that you're just trying to gather as much highly-enriched uranium as you possibly can.

AHMADEINEJAD: No. No. No. Well, should you say this, make these accusations or agency inspectors? Inspectors have said that Iran has not diverted; there's no diversion here, in other words. Again, let me repeat. We have not diverted from a peaceful path. This is what the agencies think. There is a solution here, however, a very simple solution. The countries that have atomic bombs should destroy their stockpiles. And that would make everyone happy. You shouldn't accuse others needlessly, and you shouldn't lose your temper and make life miserable for others as well. They have made mistakes and have diverted themselves. They think that others will do the same. There are many countries which have the technology. Five or six have diverted from the peaceful path, road, rather. So those five or six should return to the correct path. If certain parties think that they have rights which go beyond the normal rights that any nation should have, that will be problematic. I think that the American government should appreciate that it is like any other member of the international community, respect the views of the agency. It's very regrettable to see that certain U.S. officials have insulted the very clear positions taken by the agency, and they have lost their temper. And also they have made threats. They have attacked the director general of the agency. That is shameful. If you think that the agency is a reputable one, you should allow it to go ahead with its business. Why should you, or the agency, for that matter, repeat the words of the secretary of state? Rather, what they need to do is report the facts, the truth. So the problems of the American politicians is because they are interested in their own interests. And they want the rest of the world just to say "yes, sir" and go along with whatever they say. That is finished. It's in the past.

PELLEY: What trait do you admire in President Bush?

AHMADINEJAD: Again, I have a very frank tone. I think that President Bush needs to correct his ways.

PELLEY: What do you admire about him?

AHMADEINEJAD: He should respect the American people.

PELLEY: Is there anything? Any trait?

AHMADINEJAD: As an American citizen, tell me what trait do you admire?

PELLEY: Well, Mr. Bush is, without question, a very religious man, for example, as you are. I wonder if there's anything that you've seen in President Bush that you admire.

AHMADEINEJAD: Well, is Mr. Bush a religious man?

PELLEY: Very much so. As you are.

AHMADEINEJAD: What religion, please tell me, tells you as a follower of that religion to occupy another country and kill its people? Please tell me. Does Christianity tell its followers to do that? Judaism, for that matter? Islam, for that matter? What prophet tells you to send 160,000 troops to another country, kill men, women, and children? You just can't wear your religion on your sleeve or just go to church. You should be truthfully religious. Religion tells us all that you should respect the property, the life of different people. Respect human rights. Love your fellow man. And once you hear that a person has been killed, you should be saddened. You shouldn't sit in a room, a dark room, and hatch plots. And because of your plots, many thousands of people are killed. Having said that, we respect the American people. And because of our respect for the American people, we respectfully talk with President Bush. We have a respectful tone. But having said that, I don't think that that is a good definition of religion. Religion is love for your fellow man, brotherhood, telling the truth.

PELLEY: I take it you can't think of anything you like about President Bush.

AHMADEINEJAD: Well, I'm not familiar with the gentleman's private life. Maybe in his private life he is very kind or a determined man. I'm not aware of that. I base my judgment on what I see in his public life. Having said that, I think that President Bush can behave much better. There were golden opportunities for President Bush. He should have used them better.

PELLEY: I asked President Bush what he would say to you if he were sitting in this chair. And he told me, quote, speaking to you, that you've made terrible choices for your people. You've isolated your nation. You've taken a nation of proud and honorable people and made your country the pariah of the world. These are President Bush's words to you. What's your reply to the president?

AHMADINEJAD: Well, President Bush is free to think as he pleases and to say what he pleases. I don't oppose freedom of speech. I believe in freedom of speech. President Bush is free to say what he pleases. But these would not change the truth. So that President Bush knows the Iranian people are dearly loved today. We can very well put this to the test to find out who has become isolated. Again, maybe one of my friends could go to another country and a friend of President Bush could go to the same country, find out which one of us is isolated. You're free to choose any country you like. I don't think that President Bush has said these things. Rather, I prefer to think that this is your impression of what the president has said.

PELLEY: I'm quoting the president directly for the record.

AHMADEINEJAD: This is a direct quote? So, well, this tells me that there's a great divide between us.

PELLEY: Why does your government confiscate your people's satellite dishes? What is it that you don't want your people to see?

AHMADEINEJAD: Well, it's not prohibited like that. After everything is said and done, this is a law passed by the Iranian parliament. And the members of the parliament have been chosen by the people. Having said that, the Iranian people are, by and large, using satellite television. You can go out on the streets and see this for yourself.

PELLEY: But as you well know, they are confiscated from time to time in sweeps in the country. And I wonder what it is that you don't want your people to see.

AHMADINEJAD: Well, again, this is the law. Our people are free and express their opinion about all matters internationally. They are well aware of international news. Having said that, I like to think that the Iranian people is one of the most well-informed nations. You can go to the street and ask the people yourself. Reporters from other countries go to different Iranian cities, they're free to move about and ask questions. But Iranian reporters cannot do the same in the U.S. You can very easily come and see me and just ask me questions, but our reporters cannot ask questions from American officials. Our interview today is going to be aired byIranian TV. I very much hope that Iranian reporters will be given a possibility to ask questions from American officials. Then the truth will be uncovered.

PELLEY: You know, I'm curious. Looking back over the years, do you believe today that taking the American hostages in 1979 was a mistake?

AHMADEINEJAD: Well, you have to deal with different things in their own time. If you go back in time, things will go wrong. If you go back 500 years, what happened in Europe and the U.S. for that matter. You shouldn't look back at what happened in the past. Have your sights towards the future. This wouldn't help with anything. Because if you are to do that, we have to go over the dossier of the activities of various American administrations in this country from 1958 onwards. That wouldn't be a pretty picture. I don't want to talk about and think about the dark passages of our history. Let's have our sights towards the future.

PELLEY: Mr. President, I just have a few questions. We have appreciated your answers very much, and I know we're pressing on time here. We would be very grateful if you wouldn't mind taking just a few more. Will you, in this interview tonight, rule out the possibility of a nuclear test of an Iranian weapon during your presidency?

AHMADEINEJAD: Well, we don't have any plans.

PELLEY: But rule it out. Say that "we will not test a nuclear device as long as I am president." Can you say that?

AHMADINEJAD: Actually, I very much oppose this behavior. Picture it. If an Iranian reporter kept repeatedly asking the same questions from a U.S. official, how would you feel? Would you feel good about that?

PELLEY: I would.

AHMADINEJAD: I think that instead of going astray here and misleading the public, we should try to help with the uncovering of the truth. You are a member of the media. You are not a government official. You should be concerned with the truth. We should all be concerned with the truth. We don't need such weapons. Those who don't have anything to say to other nations and deal with them, they resort to atomic weapons. We are a cultured people and we have good relations with all nations. And the status of a country has nothing to do with atomic weapons, rather its culture and its civilization. And whenever we make a decision, we are courageous enough to come out and say that we have made such a decision. Whatever we want to do, we have nothing to hide. We clearly will announce that. Well, I said sometime ago that if you sanction us, we are going to take the production to an industrial scale, and we did that. And we said that we will continue to push ahead undaunted. We did that. We have no problems. When it comes to that, we are very transparent and we have a frank tone of voice. Let me be frank and very straightforward here. I oppose the unilateral policies and bullying policies of the American administration. I believe that these lead to war, lead to greater poverty and killing. I believe that you can manage the war better through friendship, mutual respect, and by respecting laws and also fair play. Again, I'm being very frank here. I oppose the very idea of the bomb. I have nothing to hide. Also, I oppose the policies of the American administration.

PELLEY: If the United Nations Security Council or the European Union votes in favor of additional sanctions against your country, what will you do?

AHMADEINEJAD: Well, they are just trapping themselves. They can become trapped themselves. Because any person or party who insists on a wrong decision, that will be problematic for him, no other person. For 28 years now we have been under political pressure and economic sanctions. What happened? Nothing. And the Iranian people have managed to push ahead with technology. Our economy is growing each day. And, of course, having said that, I think that that course of action is highly unlikely. There are wise people in different countries which will not go ahead with this. Iran is a member of the agency. We're under the supervision of the agency. The agency's reports are very transparent. We have provided the fullest amount of cooperation to the agency. If a party wants to go beyond the law, this will be to their own detriment. I have said time and again you can do nothing to this country. This is a great country. We have extensive God-given riches and resources. From a political point of view, we are strong and powerful. And under any conditions, we will manage to push ahead. But they need to appreciate that having said that, I don't think that such a thing is possible. Again, a number of American officials want this to happen. But you shouldn't worry about that. Just say that this is not going to happen.

PELLEY: If sanctions do occur, if another round of sanctions occur, you will continue to enrich uranium behind closed doors, I take it.

AHMADEINEJAD: This is not going to happen. I have talked extensively about this. Nobody is able to impose an unlawful course of action on the Iranian people. The Iranian people will not abide by that, accept that. And it will not serve their interests to do that. Both the American government and other countries, it helps them if they are friends with Iran. As a friend, I need to tell you to take this route. Again, you're free to take any route you want. And you will have to go with the repercussions. So these past few years, what has it gotten you? And the conditions will not change to benefit them; I assure you of that.

PELLEY: Would an attack on your nuclear sites, in your opinion, give you leave to attack U.S. forces in the region or the U.S. mainland?

AHMADEINEJAD: Who is going to attack this country?

PELLEY: President Bush has pledged that you will not be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon and will use military force if necessary.

AHMADEINEJAD: I think Mr. Bush, if he wants his party to win the next election, there are cheaper ways to go about this. I can very well give him a few ideas so that the people vote for him. He should respect the American people. They should not bug the telephone conversations of their citizens. They should not kill the sons and daughters of the American nation. They should not squander the taxpayers' money and give them to weapons companies. And also help the people, the victims of Katrina. People will vote for them if they do these things. But if they insist on what they are saying right now, this will not help them. Again, nobody can hurt the Iranian people. And history tells us that the people who have been less than kind to the Iranian people, they have lost out. What I'm saying, I am being very sincere here. I'm a Muslim. I cannot tell a lie. I am supposed to tell the truth. What I'm saying is that President Bush's conduct in Iraq is wrong. And his wrong conduct is behind his party losing the previous elections. This is very clear. The American people are very much dismayed with the behavior and the conduct of the present administration. They are not dismayed with Iran. In fact, the two nations are very close to one another. An example of that would be the letter sent to me by an American scholar a few days ago.

PELLEY: You mentioned telling the truth as a Muslim, and as you know so much better than I do, Verse 42 of the second sura: "The truth shall not be obscured by falsehood, and those who know the truth must tell it." But when I ask you a question as direct as "Will you pledge not to test a nuclear weapon?" you dance all around the question. You never say "yes." You never say "no."

AHMADEINEJAD: Well, thank you for that. You are like a CIA investigator. And you are . . .

PELLEY: I am just a reporter. I am a simple, average American reporter.

AHMADEINEJAD: This is not a Baghdad prison. Please, this is not a secret prison in Europe. This is not Abu Ghraib. This is Iran. I'm the president of this country. Well, I think that I've gone beyond what you've asked me, above and beyond. And I think that if you speak to your job as a reporter, what I have said so far, again, goes above and beyond what you ask me.

PELLEY: One last thing. So important for the American people to understand. When your airplane approaches Manhattan this week, you will look out the window and you will see that the World Trade Center is gone. Many Americans, Mr. President, to be frank, believe that you look out that window and you say to yourself, "Good. Somebody got 'em." They believe our countries are enemies.

AHMADEINEJAD: Well, you shouldn't speak on behalf of the American people. I can speak on behalf of the Iranian people, but you cannot speak on behalf of the American people. Why do you insist on doing that? Why do you not allow the American people to speak for themselves? Why? Let them speak for themselves. The people gathered around the White House a couple of days ago. They spoke whatever was in their hearts and minds. Are they not American citizens? Hundreds of thousands of people have rallied against the war. Are they not citizens? Our government at the time expressed its condemnation. We issued an official communiqué condemning that incident. How can you, in your mind, accuse and condemn others? Well, if an Iranian person for that matter had done the same thing, it would have been shameful, and it would not have been fair. So, again, this is not fair. Maybe this is your point of view or also perhaps your editor's point of view. And you are saying that the American people are saying these things. The American people still don't know who was behind the bombing of the Twin Towers. Many books in the U.S. have been written about the incident., and there are questions circling in your society. Once you go back, go to the streets, ask the local people who was behind this, what were the reason for that? And, again, I fail to see why you continually say “the American people.“ I have the latest surveys. Eighty percent of the American citizens say that the American government knew about the attack beforehand. They had information.

PELLEY: You don't believe that, sir.

AHMADEINEJAD: I'm not making a judgment here, mind you. I'm not being judgmental. That's not important for me. What is important for me is to find out why this happened. We can take a course of action which ensures this never happens. Why should we manage the world like this? It's very possible for us all to be friends, for the world to be in peace, and for the family of man to love one another and to not hate one another. So who propagates these ideas, I ask you. We should all be friends. We should deal fairly with one another, respect one another. Nations do not have any problems when it comes to interacting with one another. Unethical politicians make war. Nations don't make war. We're saying that you should allow our nations to be friends with one another. We condemned that incident right there and then. Why should many innocent people be killed? For what reason? Well, behind this building there is another building, a building which in 1981, some 25 years ago, the Iranian president and the prime minister in the office, they were blown up by terrorists, a bomb planted by terrorists. And the president and the prime minister burned in that bomb, by that bomb. And, again, this is very regrettable that those terrorists, which were behind that bombing and other assassinations in this country, can freely have access to American officials abd are being protected by the American Army in Iraq. So this country is a victim of terrorism throughout its history. So you cannot produce even one document, a single document, about terrorist action on the part of the Iranian government or Iranian officials. We are very clear in our position. We say that we spiritually support the right of the Palestinian people and also independence for Iraq. We have nothing to hide. We are very much opposed to the Iraqi occupation. Again, we have nothing to hide. It's very regrettable that many thousands of people were killed in the Twin Towers incident. We have announced time and again. And what we are asking is can we do something that ensures this never happens? And the answer is "yes." We can do that, providing a number of parties do not establish terrorist organizations and set them off on nations. We know who is behind terrorist organizations. You know full well who is behind a number of terrorist organizations around my part of the world, that is. Who provided them with logistical support, political support? It's a very well-known fact they have made and created these terrorist organizations themselves.

PELLEY: Who, sir?

AHMADINEJAD: It's very clear. Very clear.

PELLEY: Make it clearer. Name the names.

AHMADEINEJAD: I don't want to name names. But the terrorist organizations in Afghanistan, who is behind them? And what intelligence organization belonging to what country is behind them? This is very clear.

PELLEY: Shall I say CIA and the United States? Will that . . .

AHMADEINEJAD: Well, maybe you know something that . . . The relations and the developments in this part of the world are somewhat clear. I don't want to say something which would agitate and fan the flames of the situation. What I'm saying is that this is shameful. My country is a great victim of terrorism. We very much oppose terrorism. As I said, we oppose terrorism. Why? Why should innocent people be killed? For what reason? We are saying that each and every person should be respected regardless of their color, creed, what country they come from, what language they speak. We're all fellow human beings. We should be respected. Why some parties ask more than their fair share? Why do they insult nations? They shouldn't do that. This is not right. Who created secret prisons in Europe? You don't know that? Did Iran establish those prisons? This one is very clear and the documents have been revealed. Why are they creating secret prisons? If the law provides the possibility to establish these prisons, go ahead. Why this skullduggery? So this is, again, very clear.

PELLEY: Would you reestablish diplomatic relations with the United States? Is that something you want? Something you would do right away?

AHMADINEJAD: Well, our foreign policy is a policy which says that we should have relations with all countries and nations. Before the revolution, this country was much damaged by American policy. Our late imam said that we will not have relations with two countries: one, the apartheid regime of South Africa; the other, the Zionist regime. We like to have relations with all countries. The American administration cut off relations themselves unilaterally. The Carter administration perhaps were thinking that this would be to their benefit. But this didn't happen. We would like to have relations with all countries based on mutual respect. This is the very basis of our foreign policy. I think that we are done.

PELLEY: You have been generous with your time, Mr. President. Thank you for your time very much.



November 29, 2006

Message to the American People

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

O, Almighty God, bestow upon humanity the perfect human being promised to all by You, and make us among his followers.

Noble Americans!
Were we not faced with the activities of the US administration in this part of the world and the negative ramifications of those activities on the daily lives of our peoples, coupled with the many wars and calamities caused by the US administration as well as the tragic consequences of US interference in other countries; Were the American people not God-fearing, truth-loving, and justice-seeking, while the US administration actively conceals the truth and impedes any objective portrayal of current realities; And if we did not share a common responsibility to promote and protect freedom and human dignity and integrity;

Then, there would have been little urgency to have a dialogue with you.

While Divine providence has placed Iran and the United States geographically far apart, we should be cognizant that human values and our common human spirit, which proclaim the dignity and exalted worth of all human beings, have brought our two great nations of Iran and the United States closer together.

Both our nations are God-fearing, truth-loving and justice-seeking, and both seek dignity, respect and perfection.

Both greatly value and readily embrace the promotion of human ideals such as compassion, empathy, respect for the rights of human beings, securing justice and equity, and defending the innocent and the weak against oppressors and bullies.

We are all inclined towards the good, and towards extending a helping hand to one another, particularly to those in need.

We all deplore injustice, the trampling of peoples' rights and the intimidation and humiliation of human beings.

We all detest darkness, deceit, lies and distortion, and seek and admire salvation, enlightenment, sincerity and honesty.

The pure human essence of the two great nations of Iran and the United States testify to the veracity of these statements.

Noble Americans!
Our nation has always extended its hand of friendship to all other nations of the world.

Hundreds of thousands of my Iranian compatriots are living amongst you in friendship and peace, and are contributing positively to your society. Our people have been in contact with you over the past many years and have maintained these contacts despite the unnecessary restrictions of US authorities.

As mentioned, we have common concerns, face similar challenges, and are pained by the sufferings and afflictions in the world.

We, like you, are aggrieved by the ever-worsening pain and misery of the Palestinian people. Persistent aggressions by the Zionists are making life more and more difficult for the rightful owners of the land of Palestine. In broad daylight, in front of cameras and before the eyes of the world, they are bombarding innocent defenseless civilians, bulldozing houses, firing machine guns at students in the streets and alleys, and subjecting their families to endless grief.

No day goes by without a new crime.

Palestinian mothers, just like Iranian and American mothers, love their children, and are painfully bereaved by the imprisonment, wounding and murder of their children. What mother wouldn't? For 60 years, the Zionist regime has driven millions of the inhabitants of Palestine out of their homes. Many of these refugees have died in the Diaspora and in refugee camps. Their children have spent their youth in these camps and are aging while still hoping to return to their homeland.

You know well that the US administration has persistently provided blind and blanket support to the Zionist regime, has emboldened it to continue its crimes, and has prevented the UN Security Council from condemning it.

Who can deny such broken promises and grave injustices towards humanity by the US administration?

Governments are there to serve their own people. No people wants to side with or support any oppressors. But regrettably, the US administration disregards even its own public opinion and remains in the forefront of supporting the trampling of the rights of the Palestinian people.

Let's take a look at Iraq. Since the commencement of the US military presence in Iraq, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed, maimed or displaced. Terrorism in Iraq has grown exponentially. With the presence of the US military in Iraq, nothing has been done to rebuild the ruins, to restore the infrastructure or to alleviate poverty. The US Government used the pretext of the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but later it became clear that that was just a lie and a deception.

Although Saddam was overthrown and people are happy about his departure, the pain and suffering of the Iraqi people has persisted and has even been aggravated.

In Iraq, about one hundred and fifty thousand American soldiers, separated from their families and loved ones, are operating under the command of the current US administration. A substantial number of them have been killed or wounded and their presence in Iraq has tarnished the image of the American people and government.

Their mothers and relatives have, on numerous occasions, displayed their discontent with the presence of their sons and daughters in a land thousands of miles away from US shores. American soldiers often wonder why they have been sent to Iraq.

I consider it extremely unlikely that you, the American people, consent to the billions of dollars of annual expenditure from your treasury for this military misadventure.

Noble Americans!
You have heard that the US administration is kidnapping its presumed opponents from across the globe and arbitrarily holding them without trial or any international supervision in horrendous prisons that it has established in various parts of the world. God knows who these detainees actually are, and what terrible fate awaits them.

You have certainly heard the sad stories of the Guantanamo and Abu-Ghraib prisons. The US administration attempts to justify them through its proclaimed "war on terror." But everyone knows that such behavior, in fact, offends global public opinion, exacerbates resentment and thereby spreads terrorism, and tarnishes the US image and its credibility among nations.

The US administration's illegal and immoral behavior is not even confined to outside its borders. You are witnessing daily that under the pretext of "the war on terror," civil liberties in the United States are being increasingly curtailed. Even the privacy of individuals is fast losing its meaning. Judicial due process and fundamental rights are trampled upon. Private phones are tapped, suspects are arbitrarily arrested, sometimes beaten in the streets, or even shot to death.

I have no doubt that the American people do not approve of this behavior and indeed deplore it.

The US administration does not accept accountability before any organization, institution or council. The US administration has undermined the credibility of international organizations, particularly the United Nations and its Security Council. But, I do not intend to address all the challenges and calamities in this message.

The legitimacy, power and influence of a government do not emanate from its arsenals of tanks, fighter aircraft, missiles or nuclear weapons. Legitimacy and influence reside in sound logic, quest for justice and compassion and empathy for all humanity. The global position of the United States is in all probability weakened because the administration has continued to resort to force, to conceal the truth, and to mislead the American people about its policies and practices.

Undoubtedly, the American people are not satisfied with this behavior and they showed their discontent in the recent elections. I hope that in the wake of the mid-term elections, the administration of President Bush will have heard and will heed the message of the American people.

My questions are the following:

Is there not a better approach to governance?

Is it not possible to put wealth and power in the service of peace, stability, prosperity and the happiness of all peoples through a commitment to justice and respect for the rights of all nations, instead of aggression and war?

We all condemn terrorism, because its victims are the innocent.

But, can terrorism be contained and eradicated through war, destruction and the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocents? If that were possible, then why has the problem not been resolved? The sad experience of invading Iraq is before us all.

What has blind support for the Zionists by the US administration brought for the American people? It is regrettable that for the US administration, the interests of these occupiers supersedes the interests of the American people and of the other nations of the world.

What have the Zionists done for the American people that the US administration considers itself obliged to blindly support these infamous aggressors? Is it not because they have imposed themselves on a substantial portion of the banking, financial, cultural and media sectors?

I recommend that in a demonstration of respect for the American people and for humanity, the right of Palestinians to live in their own homeland should be recognized so that millions of Palestinian refugees can return to their homes and the future of all of Palestine and its form of government be determined in a referendum. This will benefit everyone.

Now that Iraq has a Constitution and an independent Assembly and Government, would it not be more beneficial to bring the US officers and soldiers home, and to spend the astronomical US military expenditures in Iraq for the welfare and prosperity of the American people? As you know very well, many victims of Katrina continue to suffer, and countless Americans continue to live in poverty and homelessness.

I'd also like to say a word to the winners of the recent elections in the US:

The United States has had many administrations; some who have left a positive legacy, and others that are neither remembered fondly by the American people nor by other nations.

Now that you control an important branch of the US Government, you will also be held to account by the people and by history.

If the US Government meets the current domestic and external challenges with an approach based on truth and justice, it can remedy some of the past afflictions and alleviate some of the global resentment and hatred of America. But if the approach remains the same, it would not be unexpected that the American people would similarly reject the new electoral winners, although the recent elections, rather than reflecting a victory, in reality point to the failure of the current administration's policies. These issues had been extensively dealt with in my letter to President Bush earlier this year.

To sum up:

It is possible to govern based on an approach that is distinctly different from one of coercion, force and injustice.

It is possible to sincerely serve and promote common human values, honesty and compassion.

It is possible to provide welfare and prosperity without tension, threats, imposition or war.

It is possible to lead the world towards the aspired perfection by adhering to unity, monotheism, morality and spirituality and drawing upon the teachings of the Divine Prophets.

Then, the American people, who are God-fearing and followers of Divine religions, will overcome every difficulty.

What I stated represents some of my anxieties and concerns.

I am confident that you, the American people, will play an instrumental role in the establishment of justice and spirituality throughout the world. The promises of the Almighty and His prophets will certainly be realized, Justice and Truth will prevail and all nations will live a true life in a climate replete with love, compassion and fraternity.

The US governing establishment, the authorities and the powerful should not choose irreversible paths. As all prophets have taught us, injustice and transgression will eventually bring about decline and demise. Today, the path of return to faith and spirituality is open and unimpeded.

We should all heed the Divine Word of the Holy Qur'an:

"But those who repent, have faith and do good may receive Salvation. Your Lord, alone, creates and chooses as He will, and others have no part in His choice; Glorified is God and Exalted above any partners they ascribe to Him." (28:67-68)

I pray to the Almighty to bless the Iranian and American nations and indeed all nations of the world with dignity and success.


September 21, 2006

Interview with CNN

COOPER: At the U.N., you spoke with great passion of of brotherhood, of peace and respect for all nations. Yet, in Tehran last year, you spoke about wiping Israel off the face of the map. That doesn't sound to many people in the United States like great respect for other nations.

Do you want to wipe Israel off the face of the map?

AHMADINEJAD: I'm surprised why American politicians are so sensitive and biased with regard to Israel. Is there a relationship, to speak with such prejudice?

Everyone is prevented from questioning the regime. Whenever a question is raised, some American politicians react very strongly to it, whereas we know there's a lot being said about many other countries around the world.

Lebanon was bombarded. In Ghana, people were killed with laser bombs. But it doesn't seem to have created concern among American politicians as much. But when somebody questions or criticizes the Zionist regime, there's so much reaction. Could you tell me why this is the case?

I would think it would be a good question to ask from American politicians, the extent of the prejudice we see with them about Israel, given the massacres committed by Israel, killing people in their own homes. Should they not be subject to criticism? Should nobody complain and raise objections about the violations of rights and the murders that they commit? Are they free to do such acts?

Should they not act within the framework of any law?

COOPER: To some in America, though, that is going to sound like you're not answering the question. The question really is, do you believe Israel has a right to exist?

AHMADINEJAD: I say that it is an occupying regime.

We say we must -- you must allow the Palestinian nation to decide for itself what its fate should be. There are 5 million displaced Palestinians, 4 million who live under the threat of bombardments, or actual bombardments and attacks.

So, let Palestinian people decide for themselves. We support the vote of the people. And whatever the result is, we must all accept. Why should there be objection to this proposal, or to the vote of the people to indicate their will? Don't the people in Palestine have the right to live? Are they not human beings? They live in their own homeland. In their own homeland, they are under attack.

COOPER: The same statement could be said of Jewish people in Israel, that they're living in what they say is their homeland. Don't they have a right to exist?

AHMADINEJAD: Yes, in Palestine, there were a group of Jews that lived there. But where did they come from afterward, the larger groups that came to Palestine?

We know what the trend was. A group of people came from other places to that land. Where does the father of Mr. [Ehud] Olmert come from, for example? Some of the ministers in Israel are in fact of Iranian origin, with no background, historical background, in Palestine. But they're there, ruling.

COOPER: So, you're saying, really, they don't belong there; they should go somewhere else?

AHMADINEJAD: I am saying, let the Palestinian people decide. The Palestinian people should decide what to do. And among Palestinians, there are Jews, Muslims and Christians.

Our question is, what about the rights of the Palestinian people? They lived there, and they were displaced and forced to leave their own homeland, under the threat of a gun, and, regretfully, with the support of the American government.

What is happening to the Palestinians? Do they not have the right? Shouldn't we be thinking about that? Their young people are being killed on the streets. Homes are being destroyed over their heads, even in Gaza, even in the West Bank.

After all, they are human beings, too. They have the right to life and to live in their own homeland. Others have come from far and beyond, and are now there ruling there and governing that land.

Why did they go there? They should return to where they came from. Or, even if they don't, they should at least allow the Palestinian nation to decide about that and the future.

So what I'm saying is quite clear. We want peace to be established there. We care for the Jews who live under pressure there as well, because they too are living outside their own homes, far from where they belong, their homeland, actually. That is not their homeland.

COOPER: You have repeatedly implied that the Holocaust never happened. And implied that more research needs to be done on whether or not it did happen. The argument could be made that the genocide was perhaps the most well-documented genocide of the 20th century. Do you really believe that the Holocaust never happened?

AHMADINEJAD: If this event happened, where did it happen? The where is the main question. And it was not in Palestine. Why is the Holocaust used as a pretext to occupy the Palestinian lands?

COOPER: But do you understand why it's deeply offensive to people?

AHMADINEJAD: That subject, how is it connected to the occupying regime in Jerusalem?

COOPER: You do realize though why it would be deeply offensive to so many people that you even say "if it ever happened"?

AHMADINEJAD: Well, you don't speak here for all Americans. In the past two or three days, I have met with many members of the media and the press here, some who are even related to the U.S. government. But the questions are the same across the board.

COOPER: Why can't you believe there was a Holocaust and support Palestinians?

AHMADINEJAD: No, that's not a reason at all.

The subject of the Holocaust is a different subject. I raised two or three questions that were very clear about it. I said that, in World War II, 60 million people lost their lives. They were killed. Two million of them were noncivilians, so to say, military. The rest were civilian populations.

And they all lost their lives. Their lives were all cared for and respected. But why is it that we concentrate so much on the lives of a group among the 60 million?

The second question is, assuming that this happened, why don't they allow more research and studies to be done about it? If it is a truth that happened, then we will need more clarity about it. And they must be impartial groups, or whoever who is interested should be able to do the research. Why is that prevented?

COOPER: President Bush, at the U.N., tried to speak directly to the Iranian people yesterday. And he said ...

AHMADINEJAD: Did you get the answer you wanted about the Holocaust?

COOPER: No, I didn't, but I know my time is limited.

It is a fascinating subject. ...

AHMADINEJAD: Are you asking the questions that are on your mind or questions that are given to you by others?

COOPER: Actually, in America, we have a free press, unlike in parts of Iran.

But I'm asking the questions that I'm interested in. But I know your time is short. Frankly, I would love to talk to you for two hours. But ...

AHMADINEJAD: Well, given that all the questions are very similar, it speaks for itself.

It seems to me that Mr. Bush fails to understand the reality of the world today, the conditions that beset the world today. This is not the kind of language you speak talking with a great nation. It's an insult to a great nation. I don't know what he is actually thinking, when he makes remarks like that. I invite him to speak for half an hour with our nation every day. And everyone will listen to what he has to say, but nothing will be resolved.

COOPER: He gave his message to the Iranian people. What is your message to the American people? What do you want them to know about Iran, about you?

AHMADINEJAD: Our message is a message of peace and brotherhood with all nations, with all people. And we like all nations and people. We are against oppression and injustice. And we love the American people, as we love our own. We respect everyone. And to clarify issues, I called Mr. Bush to debate. I propose that we sit and have a debate to talk about our positions, to discuss issues and allow everyone around the world to hear the debate. It was a great suggestion, I think, because I believe that, after all, it is the public opinion, the world public opinion, that must have information and decide.

COOPER: Your ally, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, today, speaking at the [U.N.] General Assembly, called President Bush a devil and said that he smelled sulfur.

I'm wondering what you think of his comments and whether you smelled any sulfur when you were speaking at the General Assembly.

AHMADINEJAD: Do you want to interview me or Mr. Chavez, perhaps?

COOPER: You have no thoughts on his comments?

AHMADINEJAD: I think that the United Nations offers a podium for everyone. And everybody can speak of what they think. So let's keep it open.

COOPER: You said at the U.N. yesterday that your nuclear program is, quote, "transparent, peaceful and under the watchful eyes of IAEA inspectors." That's not what [International Atomic Energy Agency] inspectors have said. In a recent report they have said that they frankly cannot verify the peaceful nature of your program and that it is not transparent.

Why not just open up the program and fulfill all the requirements that the IAEA would like?

AHMADINEJAD: They said that they did not find any evidence or sign, although they must continue inspections. And they're welcome to continue inspections at all times.

COOPER: The report that ...

AHMADINEJAD: The IAEA has declared that on numerous occasions in fact. And we know that that is not the first time they've stated that.

COOPER: The report that I read in August said Iran has not addressed the long outstanding verification issues or provided the necessary transparency to remove uncertainties associated with some of its activities. [IAEA chief] Mohamed ElBaradei was quoted as saying that he can't give you a clean bill of health yet.

AHMADINEJAD: Perhaps the report that you had and saw is incomplete. The IAEA has indicated that it has found no evidence that would show that Iran is developing a nuclear energy for other purposes that are other than peaceful.

So I like to ask ... are you positive that the United States of America in fact has not diverted from its own nuclear programs to develop, perhaps nuclear devices, that are not for peaceful purposes? The United States, are you telling me, is not building a nuclear bomb? Are you not concerned about that?

There has been no evidence saying that we are doing any such activities. Then why should there be a furor of concern among people, among groups? But please, go on.

COOPER: But well, you say that, without a doubt, your program is for peaceful purposes. The IAEA report I read said that they've not had all the interviews they would like to have. They've not had all the documentation they would like to have.

Are you willing to provide them everything that they say they would like? Or do you feel it's inappropriate that they are pushing too much?

AHMADINEJAD: We're working within the framework of international laws. They might, for example, choose to interview me personally. But that would be stepping beyond the framework of international law.

So they have to tell us exactly what provisions of the NPT [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] they're speaking of which they believe we have not abided by. There's no such case. They are interested in getting more information. And we're ready to cooperate with them and provide them with all information within the framework of international law.