Ahmadinejad criticizes Bashar Al-Assad, Israel, and the West in an interview with RTP network of Portugal

Source: president.ir , Date: 08 September 2011

 In a live interview with the RTP network of Portugal, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke on a number of subjects including Iran’s domestic politics, their nuclear program, regional events, and relations with Western powers. The following are some of the highlights from the interview.

On the question of domestic politics and the events surrounding the controversial 2009 Iranian presidential election, Ahmadinejad answered that all outstanding complaints had been addressed by the relevant state bodies and that no fraud had occurred:

“15 million people voted for my rivals, but did this many show up in the protests? Even if 15 million people turned up [on the streets], it would be natural [that they would wish to express themselves], and anyway supervisory bodies responded to complaints in this regard and it was revealed that there was no basis to them.”

Regarding Iran’s nuclear program, he denied that Iran intended to build nuclear weapons and tried to turn to the question around in order to highlight the nuclear arsenals of the US and Israel:

“There is no reason for Iran to pursue nuclear weapons. The Iranian nation is fundamentally opposed to building nuclear weapons, because it sees them as being the ugliest and most anti-human weapon and besides, nuclear weapons are useless…America has tens of thousands of nuclear warheads but did the existence of these weapons lead her to victory in Iraq and Afghanistan? The former Soviet Union also had thousands of nuclear warheads but this did not prevent its dissolution. The Zionist regime also has more than 200 warheads, but has this brought it victory in Gaza and Lebanon?”

Ahmadinejad answered questions on his controversial comments on Israel and allegations of Holocaust-denial by repeating positions he has held in the past:

“On the subject of the founding philosophy of the Zionist regime, we have posed two questions on the Holocaust- which was the basis for the creation of this regime. If the Holocaust happened where did it happen? If there is truth in this [event], it happened in Europe. The question is why the price for it must be paid in Palestine. The second question is that if this [Holocaust] is a historical event why will they not allow independent groups to research it? It is apparent that this is a political game of the colonialists to dominate the region.”

When asked if Iran would take any actions against Israel, he simply answered that Israel would collapse on its own:

“No action is necessary because the era of Zionism is over and no nation in the region is prepared to have friendly relations with it [Israel]. Governments that do have relations are despised by their people. Today, like the eras of colonialism and slavery, the era of Zionism is falling along with the collapse of America’s hegemony. Today, they [Israelis] are inflicted with internal conflict and this issue shall lead to their collapse.”

Turning to the Arab Spring and NATO intervention in Libya, he blasted the military action and called on the nations of the region to resolve their problems by working together.

“The beliefs of the Islamic Republic of Iran are available in all places to all nations and governments for implementation. We believe that freedom, justice and respect is the right of all nations and all governments must accept them, but we believe that the current problems must be solved by nations and governments working together. Relying on a military approach and the interference of NATO will not solve any problems…democracy and freedom will not come from the barrel of a gun. Governments and nations must accept rights and freedom, and resolve their issues with discussions and others have no right to interfere in their internal affairs.”

He also raised alarm about Western interference in Syria, and called on the people and government of that country to resolve their issues together:

“Today the president of the United States directly intimidates the president of Syria, this is a clear interference [in Syria’s internal affairs] and is certainly not to help the people of Syria, but to save the Zionists and to serve America’s interests. The region’s nations can also themselves help, so that the people and government of Syria hand in hand implement the necessary reforms and solve their problems.”

He also struck back at President Nikolas Sarkozy, who on 30 August 2011 stated that the continuation of Iran’s policies could result in a military conflict:

“Is the world a jungle and does the president of France believe he is the king of that jungle? With what right does he make these statements and who has given him permission to take such positions in regard to others? Of course the Iranian nation views these claims as coming from a position of impotent weakness…Indeed we know that those who have nothing to say about the logic and culture of the Iranian nation, desire to attack Iran. These are the same colonialists and slave-owners of the past. But everyone knows whatever hand extends to strike Iran shall be cut-off from the biceps.”