Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is due to address the UN General Assembly in New York on September 23. The following is an exclusive Press TV interview with the president on his message for the world. He also sheds light on several controversial issues.
Press TV: Mr. President, What part of your agenda or your message to the United Nations or the American people can you share with us before your trip?
Ahmadinejad: In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. I am going to attend this important international forum to hear from others and also to offer arguments, our viewpoints and positions and to have dialogue and conversations with different people there.
And the recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency is very clear. It has been confirmed that there is no diversion in our activities, and there is no negative point in this report.
Washington has lately claimed that the case is outside the purview of the IAEA and that the IAEA does not have the mandate to examine such issues. But we have said okay, legally speaking, this has no legal basis. The last part of Mr. ElBaradei’s report has no legal basis, but the part that is based on the law and the rules of the IAEA is very clear. They have confirmed many times now that Iran has shown no diversion in its activities.
We are going through a very natural process, and some people are causing a lot of noises and a huge hullabaloo, which is not really important. All this not only has no legal value, it also has no propaganda value because they are moving from a position of illegality and there is no room in international relations to do such things. It will only isolate them.
What we are saying is very clear. Our activities are totally legal and peaceful; we are exercising our inalienable rights and do not want to violate the rights of any other people. Our activities are very transparent… We have the greatest amount of cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog and have provided all the necessary information to the IAEA.
My message to the people of the United States is very clear as well. It is a message to all world nations… We believe that the relations that prevail in the world today are cruel relations. There are gaps and distance between nations. Through propaganda, gaps are created in order to fill the pockets of wealthy people and capitalists with more money and power. We oppose these cruel and brutal relationships.
We want friendship for all world nations. We have respect for all nations and we believe that this minority, this bullying minority… If they step aside and give the affairs of the world to the nations of the world, people can live together in peace and will not have so many problems. We are friends of all world nations.
The people of the United States do not have any problem with the people of Iran. Of course, there is a one-sided propaganda network that is putting a lot of pressure on the people of the US to make things very difficult. It does not allow the people of the United States to express their views and to prevail; we hope these pressures will be removed.
Today the image, the personality and the resources of the people of the United States are being used to support criminal elements, those who occupy other countries. We do not believe that the people of the United States are satisfied with the sorts of things that are taking place.
No nation wants to support the killers. The Zionist regime is a regime that will disappear. The reason and philosophy of their existence no longer exists. This regime is based on a wrong foundation and with the passage of time and by themselves… their personality is becoming clear – they are not just. The regime will not gain legitimacy with the passage of time. They themselves know this.
Press TV: Alright, you just mentioned Israel and you called it the Zionist regime. A lot of controversy surrounds this issue. On the eve of your trip, the Jewish lobby is at work protesting, but behind the scenes stronger hands are at work to lobby each and every important politician in New York for both sanctions and a possible military attack against Iran. I want to know about this issue and the controversy of Israel being wiped off the map. A lot of controversy is surrounding that… was it a mistranslation, not a mistranslation? Mike Wallace had this interview with you a couple of years back. One part of it, a major part of it, was edited out. Your idea on the destruction of the state of Israel and Israel should be wiped off the map? The part you talked about democracy and referendum?
Ahmadinejad: We said we do not accept this regime and the solution that we are presenting is a humanitarian solution. It is a very clear solution. We are saying that the Palestinians should decide their destiny themselves; they should choose their own political system. What we are saying is very clear. We believe that the people whose ancestors have lived in that land and own the land although they have been deported and expelled and are under occupation, we are saying that they are the ones….
Press TV: So you did not threaten to wipe Israel off the map as an Iranian leader? That we will wipe Israel off the map?
Ahmadinejad: No. We say that the people of Palestine should have rights and when the people of Palestine exercise this right, this will happen. Where is the Soviet Union? The Soviet Union has been wiped off the map. What happened to the Soviet Union? The decision of the people, the vote of the people. When the people of the Soviet Union, the Russian people, were allowed to decide to take charge of their destiny, the Soviet Union disappeared.
The Zionist regime is an artificial regime… a fictitious regime. You brought people from different parts of the world and you have built this state. No, that cannot last, it is not sustainable. If they do not listen to our solution, this will happen one day.
Press TV: Now this issue of a fabricated regime. There have been reports that they are planning airstrikes on Iran. Every single day we are hearing reports that Israel is getting frustrated with our nuclear program….
Ahmadinejad: They are really too small to be a threat to Iran. They should protect themselves. They are not even able to protect themselves. The position of Iran is very clear. The capacity and the power of the people of Iran is very clear. The people of Iran are able to defend their territorial integrity and their national sovereignty. They know that Iran is a great country, an important power… a humanitarian power. The people of Iran know how to defend themselves and such propaganda has no impact on the people of Iran. The era of making threats is over.
Press TV: Let’s talk about your UN trip. Everyone is talking about reform in the United Nations, including the new president of the General Assembly that surprised the world with harsh comments, anti-American comments. He talked about imperialism. He talked about the addiction to war…
Ahmadinejad: You should not limit me to comments by one person.
Press TV: Everyone is talking about reforms. What reforms do you do you see fit for the United Nations? What reforms are you seeking? I understand Iran is vying with Japan over a seat in the Security Council? That seat will be vacant in January.
Ahmadinejad: You see, the United Nations should be really truly united nations…a universal organization. It should not be an organization that belongs to certain circles and certain powers. All nations of the world should have the right to vote and to decide and democratic relationships should prevail over all organs of the United Nations. Now, there are people going to the General Assembly meeting and have to get permission from the government of the United States. How is the United Nations democratic?! The United Nations should be in an independent, impartial country, so that everybody can travel there without any limitations. This is a forum for exchanges views. It is a collection of the viewpoints of different nations. That’s why we need to reform, to overhaul the whole United Nations.
Press TV: Are there going to be any events similar to what you did last year in Columbia on your itinerary.
Ahmadinejad: We have arranged some meetings. There is going to be this interfaith dialogue and various meetings. We are going to have a meeting with some students.
Press TV: One last question. What do you expect to gain from this perhaps last trip and your fourth to the UN?
Ahmadinejad: I am only carrying out my responsibility. My duty is to present the message of friendship to the entire humanity. Now, what will happen… I do not know.