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Exclusive Press TV interview with Ahmadinejad

In an exclusive interview with Press TV on Monday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran is ready for effective cooperation over its nuclear issue.

Press TV: Thanks Mr. president for this exclusive interview with Press TV. I’d like to start with the latest nuclear news. An Iranian letter has already been sent to the EU’s foreign policy chief and a lot of headlines have been generated about the beginning of a new round of negotiations with the P5+1. We would like to know your explanation.

President Ahmadinejad: You know that in recent months the nuclear fuel swap issue was put forth and it was agreed that by swapping fuel we would take a step ahead towards interaction to dispel the misconceptions on behalf of both sides and turn the confrontations into interaction and cooperation.

Nonetheless, other irrelevant issues were posed and unfavorable things happened. However, we have always been ready to interact. This was until Mr. Obama invited the Brazilian president and Turkish prime minister to talk to Iran and pave the way for interaction and this was what we also wanted. They came to Tehran and we held negotiations and the result was the Tehran Declaration.

The Tehran Declaration comprises of a reasonable, legal and fair framework, both for friendship and cooperation as well as a nuclear fuel swap and it was crystal clear.

But, unfortunately some parties did not like it to happen. The US administration spearheaded and the UK added fuel to the fire and a couple of other governments aided and abetted, instead of offering a positive response to Iran’s great step.

Iran had really taken a significant stride. It accepted to send its nuclear materials out of Iran and sign an agreement with those who have repeatedly and unilaterally violated their previous agreements with Iran.

Nevertheless, Iran accepted to enter the deal in order to pave the way for further cooperation.

(Instead), they issued a very deficient resolution, not only in terms of its effectiveness, but to the effect that the move, in its very nature, is suspicious. When they come short of reason, they immediately resort to force and resolution which is very unacceptable.

International relations must be resolved through logic and dialogue.

The resolution was issued at the time when the Zionist regime had attacked the Flotilla of humanitarian aid in international waters. They did not react towards Israel but issued a resolution against Iran which, as mentioned, had offered its hand to cooperate.

At that time, we denounced what they did and to teach them a lesson on how to treat nations, we will not enter any talks until mid-Ramadan.

Later, some of those states contacted us and accepted Iran’s timeline for talks. Surprisingly, it was about 3-4 months that Mr. Jalili (the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council) had been contacting the EU foreign policy chief for holding talks, but she did not reply. She even did not make a move ahead, making excuses such as their not being ready, etc. But the day after the resolution was issued she made an interview and sent a letter saying they are ready for negotiations.

Mr. Jalili responded to her, saying Iran is also ready for talks, but the negotiations will start at the time I mentioned.

Press TV: When you talked about the sanctions and their effects, the European media headlines out there say simply when these sanctions, the fourth round of the UN Security Council sanctions, were coming, Iran knew it and said all right let us go for a deal with Turkey and Brazil and because of these unilateral sanctions that the European Union is supposed to come up with, Iran is sending this letter.

President Ahmadinejad: No it is not true. We have previously said that, the idea of issuing a resolution to force us enter into talks is a defeated logic. We have always held talks and have never stopped them. Never. If at any time the talks were halted that has been from their part because they always came short of logic and when they saw themselves having no reason or when they wanted to take illegal actions they stopped the talks.

Mrs. Ashton, who for 3 months, did not come for negotiations, sent a letter saying they were ready for talks and, in response, Mr. Jalili said we were ready for talks as well and this is not a new thing because we have always been ready.

However, I announced that since they have made an unacceptable move, we postpone the talks for two months. That means we are ready for talks by early September and now I say it again. This has nothing to do with the resolution, because if they came before the resolution we would enter the negotiations.

Even now we are ready to talk but it is the framework of the talks which is of importance. The basis of the talks is important. We say that the talks should be based on respect and justice.

We have offered the framework to them through a package which includes international affairs and global concerns and it is quite clear.

They know themselves that they cannot make Iran withdraw. They have launched propaganda in a bid to show that Iran has stepped back, which is not true. We should not step back but rather move forward based on justice and friendship. Everyone would benefit from it.

Press TV: You said that the talks will take place. Are you ready to start the talks again in September and you just said that as long as it is based on equality and equity. The first part of the question is that do you believe that that is possible and the second part of the question is that before you had said that the nuclear file is closed, if the P5+1 wants to discuss that issue how open is Iran to that subject?

President Ahmadinejad: We said that we will talk with P5+1 as of early September but there are some conditions. One of the conditions is that others should be present in the discussions as well. Why the P5+1 should talk to us? Where did P5+1 come from? If the five are the permanent members of the UN Security Council what is Germany doing in talks? We welcome the presence of Germany in talks but we say that others should be also present in talks for the same reason that those five countries and Germany are in the negotiations.

The second condition is that they announce their position on certain issues like their viewpoint on the Zionist regime’s atomic bombs. They should say whether they consent to it or not. That’s all. We don’t expect more.

With respect to the negotiations, they should announce whether they are after friendship or animosity. They should come and tell us if the aim of the talks is friendship or animosity.

Regarding the NPT and its review, they should express their views. At the New York meeting, certain reforms were made to the NPT. We want them to express their views as to whether they agree or disagree with the reforms.

And they should announce whether they follow logic or force and resolutions in the negotiations.

Their response will paint a clear picture of the atmosphere of negotiations. Any response they give us would not matter. We prefer their response to be constructive, but if their response is not constructive, we would follow negotiations accordingly.

On the Iranian nuclear issue, we don’t have anything called the Iranian nuclear dossier. They have made it up. We act according to law. We have had the most cooperation with the [International Atomic Energy] Agency and we have cooperated with the Agency beyond legal obligations so far as the IAEA has released all intelligence pertaining to our nuclear program in violation of law. Once we give a report to the Agency, you can see it in American press tomorrow. This is a blatant violation of law. They should protect intelligence related to countries. We have, however, not protested the move. We indeed reserve the right to protest.

We are the only country whose nuclear information can be found in every paper. We have acted in accordance with law and we will continue to do that. Their claims will not have an impact on us but we will talk on international issues, our differences of opinion and our common concerns. We have always talked. I even said that I am ready to talk with Mr. Bush. Last year, I said that I was ready to talk with Mr. Obama. We have a clear logic and we talk based on that.

I think that they consider negotiations as a tool to dominate the world. We don’t look at it this way. We believe that talks are for understanding, deepening friendship and peace, not animosity.

Press TV: I want to ask you about a concept that you often talk about: change of power politics or dynamics in the world. Now that Turkey and Brazil are trying to exert themselves in the international arena, do you see perhaps this change materializing within the foreseeable future and where do you see Iran’s position?

President Ahmadinejad: It’s obvious that world equations are changing in today’s world. Indeed, these equations depend on thought and culture, which are changing rapidly in the world. The tendency of the people in world toward justice is growing. Everyone is after justice and they don’t accept discriminatory relations. Everyone is looking for respect. Everyone is looking for equal rights. These are changes of minds. Changes of minds will certainly lead to political changes.

Once there were two blocs, Russia and the US, which are the East and the West. The whole world was dominated and controlled by them. The level of demand was low. The world has changed now. One of these blocs was lost in history. The second bloc thought it could take the place of the other, too — ignorant of the fact that the stream of mind has changed and people of the world cannot accept it. We think that the second bloc is also vanishing and would collapse. You can see that there is a dead-end everywhere in economy, policy, and security management of the world. Naturally, others will come. We consider these others as all people in the world. We think that all should participate in the future management of the world based on justice and respect. No one should consider themselves superior than others. All are equal and relations should be just and fair based on mutual respect.

Regarding the revolution of mind happening now in the world, some are pioneers including Iran, since Iran gained real independence and stood up against both the East and the West. Iran withdrew itself out of the circle of the influence of these powers and so it was able to have an impact mainly cultural on the international arena.

The status of Iran with regard to political relations is like others, but what matters for Iran and is happening now is that Iran is in the hearts of people. Iran has relations with other countries based on love and friendship. We love to come to the point where all relations are based on love and friendship but it is a status which cannot be assessed through political relations.

Press TV: Turkey and Brazil said ‘no’ to the fourth round of UN Security Council sanctions against Iran. But perhaps surprisingly to many, Russia and China did not. I’d like to have your opinion about Russia’s position and the follow-up when it comes to comments when President Medvedev talks about Iran reaching the capability of making a nuclear bomb, which is kind of close to the comments we hear from Washington. Would Iran reconsider its relations with Russia in the face of such growing comments from Moscow?

President Ahmadinejad: Russia had voted in favor of resolutions already passed against Iran. It’s nothing new. There are different viewpoints in Russia today. What Mr. President says is in blatant contravention of Russia’s interests. It’s kind of echoing what the US says. They had participated in drafting resolutions against us before. They told us that they guaranteed that no serious problem would arise. But recently some remarks made by the Russian president are encouraging the US and giving it the green light to pressure Iran. These remarks are in fact sacrificing the interests of the Russian nation in favor of the US. And it is more to the detriment of Russia than to the detriment of us.

There already are four resolutions (against Iran), they may as well add another three digits to it and declare in the next few years that they have passed the 4000th. It has become like an insider’s joke. Not that we welcome them; but, they will approve so many resolutions that they will eventually lose their effectiveness.

If you look sharply at the situation in the world, which I believe is the answer to your earlier question, a new wave is taking over the world and an older one is receding.

The turn of those states that dominated the world in the aftermaths of the Second World War — ruling with their language and culture and economy is over. Their time is over, they must pack and leave.

This emerging wave is no longer about dominance, lies, deception, or war. It is a humane, cultural wave. Iran is at the heart of this new movement. In other worlds, nations are emerging, totalitarians are leaving. A resolution will not affect the balance of this equation.

It is as ridiculous as attempting to stop the flow of a vast river by just dumping a truck-load of rubbish in its path.

Today, Iran has become the voice of nations, translating their demands.

Press TV You just said that there is no difference between four or 4,000 resolutions, so the people sitting in the West will be saying that the president of Iran is dismissing the sanctions and saying that they will not work. How about war? Do you see the drums of war beating despite all the rhetoric on both sides?

President Ahmadinejad No. They seem to expect us to say that sanctions will work. They think as soon as the sanctions are imposed the Iranian nation will die. They are delusional in rating their capabilities. They (the West) think that all nations need them and can not live without them, thinking that they can choke these countries by cutting off ties. This is wrong. Perhaps 60 or even 30 years ago this was acceptable to some people. They could not even get away with it in a small country with a mere 2 million population, let alone Iran.

Their knowledge of geography, history and politics is limited. Iran is 1,750,000 km2, and has close ties with its many neighboring states. All the major East-West transit lines cross Iran; a great economical, cultural, political power. It has a great population of 75 million people.

Iran has always been the flag bearer of culture and history, so they are sanctioning themselves.

The US is unhappy about the fact that it has not had any political relations with Iran for the past 30 years, so it is trying to drag these poor Europeans into it as well.

What will happen if the Europeans stop selling us goods? They have not been selling us any essential equipment that would play a part in solving the country’s problems. We made them ourselves.

For the past 12-20 years, they are playing games with us over the oil industry. Since Clinton imposed a ban on US trade and investment in Iran in 1995, they have just played games.

We decided to invest ourselves, and in the space of a year we are devoting more money to the industry than the equivalent of their 30-year investment.

The concept of sanctions is in the refuge of the weak and the defeated.

If we say sanctions will fail, it does not follow that there will be a war. I mentioned 4,000 resolutions because they are stuck in the first three and as an escape have imposed a fourth one. So it is likely that they will approve the fifth to escape this one.

The question is whether they want to return to the literature of [former US president] George W. Bush. I mean does the US president want to revive Bush’s policies? They are welcome to experience the same defeat that following those policies has already entailed.

Are they seeking to come and talk with us? If so, is the resolution a maneuver to get concessions from Iran?

They are mistaken if they think the Iranian nation will grant concessions over one resolution.

Even should they impose 100 resolutions and severe all economic ties with us, they cannot stand in the way of the global cultural wave that is coming to rip them apart.

Their sole hope is to go with the flow and come and join other nations instead of standing against them. They must learn to value justice and mutual respect.

This is why we keep enquiring about the basis of the talks. We would like to know in advance whether they are hostile; then we will talk but it would not benefit them in any way.

If you have friendly intentions, then you will reap the same benefits along with other nations.

They, especially the influential Zionist lobbies in the US, love to fill the global atmosphere with the term “war.” A lot of them sleep on the wish that tomorrow they wake up and find Iran has disappeared from the map.

Iran is a growing and emerging reality which they cannot stop.

They think the cry of war will scare some people in Iran. Of course, they have made plans with certain people I will name in future. They have coordinated a plan with this likeminded group to say things and start unrest, all for the purpose of scaring the Iranian nation.

This is a misconception, a mistake. I am stressing that the Iranian nation fears nothing.

They can not do anything, but the war cry is sure to give them a sore throat.

We are not happy about this. We have from the beginning invited them to logic and dialogue, but they want to switch to plan B.

Press TV: Mr. President, on the issue of sanctions, are you honestly saying that sanctions have not had any impact on Iran and has not added any pressure on Iran and the Iranian people? Even recently, Iranian airplanes could not refuel at European airports. Could you elaborate?

President Ahmadinejad: Of course it has had an impact, namely accelerating the rate of domestic progress. Another side effect is that it in turn restricts them. Let us imagine some unprecedented event, for example an Iranian airplane is barred from fuelling at a European airport, or even the fact that Europeans deny visas to Iranians. What is the significance? Whose loss is this? These (tourists) would have been spending money there not making it. The world is not just limited to Europe.

There are so many states cooperating with Iran, many of which have already sent us messages of assurance that they will not heed these (sanctions). They have pledged to deliver anything that we may wish. The West talks of imposing sanctions on Iran’s oil industry. As an oil producing country, is this even a threat? We are producing 4 million barrels of oil per day, own dozens of refineries, and can add another 20 million liters of fuel by simple changes to the production line.

If we were not a country with a 100-year-old oil industry, or the refineries or experts, then a threat of barring fuel supplies would have been serious. They do not seem to grasp this. They are confined to a little shut-off room with a map on its walls, and they think they are observing the world. We keep telling them to come out of their cocoon and breathe the fresh air and see the change. We do not welcome confrontation. We have reproached them for seeking it. We believe that cooperation is in the interest of everybody. But if a number of people insist upon it, like Hitler, and want to draw a sword and starting ordering a siege, they are welcome to it. We will just sit here patiently and wait till they come to their senses.

Press TV: Speaking of just that, in your recent comments you have talked about a scenario brewing in the West led by the US with the cooperation of certain other countries against Iran or its allies in the region. I’m wondering if you could expand on that a bit for our audience.

President Ahmadinejad: We have precise information that Americans have devised a scenario to launch a massive propaganda campaign against Iran. The comments made by the Russian president were in fact a teaser for that. They are to go into action on a large scale and bring up certain words they have forced out of the mouths of some individuals they have kidnapped. They think it’s a complete scenario based on which they would launch massive PR initiatives and launch aggression against certain regional countries in order to put pressure on Iran. This is a general overview of the scenario. They have also made arrangements with some regional states as well as some elements inside the country. The Russian president’s comments that Iran is getting closer to a [nuclear] bomb were the starting point for the scenario. We think this play has no audience other than the US and its allies. [This approach] is a nonstarter. The tactic they have adopted is a wrong one. The path they have chosen is wrong. Take someone who has chosen a path which leads to a precipice, for example. The faster they move down the path, the faster they will approach the bottom. The path won’t lead them to the top. Their mistake is that they don’t heed our advice when we tell them they are headed in the wrong direction.

Press TV: Do you have a counter-plan to this? Because you are saying, yes, there is first propaganda, but then there is potentiality for war against perhaps a couple of countries in the region. Does Iran have a counter-plan in case that plan materializes, in case a couple of countries are perhaps attacked in the region?

President Ahmadinejad: Yes. As I said, we are the target of their propaganda campaign. There are planning a massive PR exercise against Iran based on which they might attack a number of regional countries to pressurize Iran. They are targeting us with a propaganda campaign because they cannot confront us with those kinds of measures. They are going to create an atmosphere to scare us into believing that danger is imminent and that they are serious. It’s just a PR initiative and they themselves know it. There is no way they enter a war with Iran and they know it. Of course they would like to see Iran vanish overnight, but such a thing won’t happen and Iran will continue to exist. And they shouldn’t be mistaken: Iran does not mean Ahmadinejad. Iran constitutes 75 million faithful, brave, informed and united people. They think the Iranian people are divided into two groups. The Iranian people are one single body. It is natural that everybody will vote for the candidate of their choice in elections, but this will not provoke animosity among the people. They are one family. The US thinks the Iranian people are partisans, believing some are Democrats while the rest are Republicans and they can put Iranians against one another. But it is not true. Iranians are all together.

Press TV: Let me ask you this because this is really important. The scenario of perhaps Israel or the US attacking not Iran directly, but one country in the region, perhaps an ally of Iran like Syria, say, or Lebanon or elsewhere. Do you see an Iranian intervention in favor of any of these countries, perhaps against either Israel or US in case that an attack materializes?

President Ahmadinejad: This is not a possibility. They have already decided to do it now. I’m telling you, they have decided to launch operations against at least two countries in the region. And it goes without saying that all these games are aimed at saving the Zionist regime. In fact all the pressures, the nuclear issue and all that have two objectives: First, to put the brakes on the Iranian nation’s progress. They are opposed to our progress. They are lying when they say they are against [atomic] bombs. That’s why I asked them to express their view about the Zionist regime’s nuclear bombs, but they haven’t. They are just using the A-bomb issue as a pretext to block our progress. We are continuing our progress in medicine, mathematics, engineering, aerospace, biotechnology, nanotechnology etc, but they are opposed to that. They want us to always be dependent on them. They wouldn’t like any country to make progress beyond their realm. This is the logic of force. Secondly, they want to save the Zionist regime. The Israeli regime itself thinks only a new war can save it because it has reached a dead end in all directions. Who is this regime going to live with in our region? What country or nation is it going to work with? All paths are closed. No one is willing to. Even those who are working with Tel Aviv are doing it surreptitiously. This means the Zionist regime does not have legitimacy. Its raison d’etre has also been questioned. Israel continued to rule for a good sixty years with indisputable military power. They claimed they were invincible. It launched a war against Lebanon, but was defeated. It also failed in its Gaza war. Now, it’s going to make up for that. They are going to put political pressure on us to keep us from helping them.

Press TV: Will you help them in case that happens?

President Ahmadinejad: There is no need for that. It is pretty clear to us that the Zionist regime will be the outright loser in any possible future military action. Regional equations indicate that the Zionist regime will be the loser, no matter how it gets involved. The Zionist regime is on the decline. The harder it struggles, the faster it falls. If it is going to attack Lebanon, is it obvious what the outcome will be. What did it get after its 33-day aggression against Lebanon? I think this time the Lebanese nation’s response will be much stronger should Israel attack again. Not only Lebanon, but any other nation [will show a similar response]. So we are not worried and we needn’t help them. The fact that we exist means help for all nations because Iran is a country which is against expansionist and domineering policies. This is the biggest help to other nations. Moreover, the Lebanese nation is a lively, vigilant and powerful nation. Should they make such a mistake, it will definitely jeopardize the very existence of the Zionist regime.

Press TV: Let’s look at Afghanistan. There are recent reports that pointing the finger at Iran and that Iran is actually supporting the Taliban. I’d like to get your opinion on that. In, overall with Afghanistan, and what is happening right now.

President Ahmadinejad: We think the major problem that Afghanistan is facing is foreign intervention. The Afghan people have always suffered over the past forty or fifty years. There was the Soviet invasion before the Afghan nation rose up against Soviet occupiers. It followed by more interference by Americans. And today, they are maintaining a direct military presence there. We do believe that the Afghan people are brave and capable of handling their own affairs. They can establish security and reconstruct their country on their own. They don’t need foreign intervention. Security in Afghanistan means security in the whole region, and insecurity in that country amounts to regional insecurity. As you saw, insecurity in Afghanistan spilled over to Pakistan as well. If the insecurity continues unchecked, it is highly likely to spread eastward. An essential characteristic of insecurity is that it does not remain static in one region, but creeps along. We are friends with the Afghan nation. It’s a historical friendship. Around three million Afghan nationals are currently living in Iran. Hundreds of Afghans travel to and from Iran each year. We are deeply upset about the situation in Afghanistan. We are unhappy to see people getting killed there. During my recent visit [to Afghanistan], the Afghan president said in an interview that they don’t let us make decisions on our own and put pressure on us. [He said] they want to impose their will on the Afghan nation, that they don’t allow national sovereignty to get established in Afghanistan, and that we want to handle our security ourselves.

We are friends with all Afghan people. We believe there is no military solution to Afghanistan [crisis]. Any single person killed will make it more difficult to solve the problem and make the situation more complicated. Americans are in the habit of making wrong decisions and putting the blame on others any time they fail. They start blame games. They accuse others of their own failure. The US has one hundred thousand military troops in Afghanistan. They have been on the ground for ten years. How come they haven’t been able to establish security in the country? The production of illicit drugs has multiplied. Insecurity has escalated. They said they were hunting for terrorists, but the number of terrorists has increased as well. Rather than admitting that their policy is wrong, they accuse Iran of training and arming [terrorists] because they have to be answerable to the American people for their failures. You came to Afghanistan to hunt terrorists. How many have you captured? The war on terror rhetoric was a lie because that’s not the reason why they came to Afghanistan. They came to occupy Afghanistan to be able to exert pressure on India and China. It’s pretty obvious. But they don’t publicly say what their objective is and hide behind beautiful rhetoric. Moreover, they start blame games whenever they fail and their policies turn out to be wrong. We won’t interfere in Afghanistan. There are dozens of political groups in Afghanistan all of which have a friendly relationship with us. The Afghan government has very cordial ties with Iran as well. We want the political process to be completed in Afghanistan as soon as possible. Security in Afghanistan is in our interest. We support Mr. Karzai’s government. We back elections in Afghanistan. We want security and law take hold in Afghanistan as soon as possible. It is to our benefit. At least a number of the Afghans living in Iran will be able to return to their homeland.

Press TV: As for Iraq, because we are getting almost out of time here, I just want to switch really quick to Iraq itself, because also the same accusations are being made that Iran is involved there and that also is having an effect. The reason why the government still has not been formed in Iraq. What’s your position on Iraq exactly, what’s going on?

President Ahmadinejad: The vice president of which country traveled to Iraq two or three times during the elections? And what did he tell the Iraqi prime minister, officials and people? We are friends with the Iraqi people. Iranians and Iraqis have been friends throughout history. They marry each other. Each year, millions of Iranian pilgrims travel to Iraq and Iraqis travel to Iran. Many Iraqis have Iranian birth certificates. Many Iranians have Iraqi birth certificates. You see. Iranian and Iraqi nations have a very close relationship. We feel sorrow over every single Iraqi killed there. Americans invaded Iraq to dominate the Middle East, but they failed. To justify their failure, they accuse Iran of interference in Iraq. They have 160 thousand military forces on the ground in Iraq. Then they say Iran is interfering [in Iraq]. It’s ludicrous. You have deployed your troops there and are openly dictating to the Iraqi government and Parliaments what they should or shouldn’t do. The US ambassador and vice president as well as its special envoy are always involved in a flurry of activities there. All Iraqi groups are friends with us. We needn’t interfere in Iraq. They are all our friends. Any group which takes power in Iraq is our friend. We support any group which wins the most votes. We back the establishment of an Iraqi government. It is to our benefit. Insecurity in Iraq will imperil our security, not only ours, but the whole region. Iraqis are our friends. They are humans. Whenever Americans face a problem, they begin a blame game. It looks like the global financial global crisis was triggered by Iran’s interference! And their failure to contain the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico has been due to Iran’s interference!!

Press TV: We discussed the nuclear talks and so forth; perhaps the upcoming talks with the Americans and the P5+1; Turkey and Brazil and others. What do you exactly hope to achieve? Do you have a new proposal for all of this?

President Ahmadinejad: We believe all countries should manage world issues hand in hand, based on friendship, justice and respect. No one should put others under pressure. Cooperation is better than confrontation. Friendship is better than animosity. All should follow the same rule. All should be equal before the law. They should say whether they accept it or not. We believe in peace, friendship, security and welfare for all. What we want to say in the talks is that we all should cooperate with each other to solve the world issues. All the 200 nations should join hands to solve an economic problem. No one is capable of solving the issues on their own. That is what we want to say in the talks. There are problems in Palestine. We think there is a humanitarian solution to that. The same applies to problems in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Yemen, and South America. Why should there be 50 years of animosity between the US and Cuba? If we accept justice and respect, this animosity will turn into friendship. We believe such logic can be applied and change the atmosphere of threat. Of course they want to raise other common issues which should also be discussed.

Press TV: Any compromise on the nuclear issue?

President Ahmadinejad: We have always been after compromise. The important thing is what should we compromise about? Our basic rights? There can be no compromise on such issues. Can you compromise on your independence and freedom? But when we talk about nuclear cooperation, it means we can cooperate to [alleviate] concerns. We have also concerns about the US. Why has the US stockpiled thousands of nuclear warheads? How a government that is unable to control an oil spill can have such an amount of nuclear warheads. The US has more than 100 military bases across the world and is keeping nuclear bombs in all of them, putting all the world in danger. Who will be responsible if one of them explodes? It is us who should protest.

It has been 60 years since they imposed the Zionist regime [on the world], which has threatened us repeatedly over the past 30 years. They repeatedly make threats to assassinate Ahmadinejad. [The Zionist regime] is treated like an spoiled child who does everything he wants. I am surprised that the US nation with a population of 300 million people has been sold to a few Zionists. It is against the US interests. Some European governments have also sold themselves to the Zionists. Why should they have all the power, wealth and the media in their hands? Why should they kill, destroy people’s homes and occupy and take no blame? Instead of making threats and wars, a humanitarian solution should be found. We believe what we say is in US and Europe’s interests too. They do not understand; their point of view is limited. They can not see what will happen in 10 years’ time. A new wave has been formed in the region against oppression and it will take the Europeans if they continue their support of the Zionist regime. Their actions have triggered this wave. The Zionists kill men, women and children alike in Gaza. This will cause an uprising in the whole world, not the region only. They should let the Palestinians hold elections to decide on their own fate. They talk of democracy, human rights and freedom, but they put such issues aside when it comes to the Zionist regime. We are not enemies to any one. We are friends. We can hold talks with the them on these issues. We either convince them or are convinced by them. Or we hold talks so that the world hears the both of us. We both offer our solutions.

Press TV: Right now, Iran is portrayed in the media as a rogue state. Especially under your leadership, this is how Iran has been portrayed. What can you do to reassure the world that Iran is not a threat to peace or international laws?

President Ahmadinejad: That is what they themselves create in their own media. But I announced in China that they choose whatever place in the world; we will go there without any guards and see what people will say. I went to a country which had seven TV channels, all of which were against Iran. But that nation was wholly a supporter of Iran. The people of the United States are against the country’s policies. They can conduct a poll on this to find out that I am right. They can do the same in Europe. In Iran, these things are clear. These are exactly the same words I used in my election campaign. But what they say before the election is different from what they do after that. That’s why they are afraid.

The European governments are heavily supporting the Zionist regime financially. It is not an issue which is put to vote in there. Nor is it mentioned in their election campaigns because they know they would not get any votes if they did so. We will continue our current actions to counter their propaganda.

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