In an exclusive interview with RT, the President of Iran pointed out that the 21st century is about knowledge, while nukes are the means of the past. Iran’s view on the “Arab Spring” and its relations with other countries has also been discussed.
Speaking of Iran’s stance on the “Arab Spring”, the President of the Islamic Republic believes that these events reflect problems that go far beyond the needs of the people of the region.
“The entire world is not satisfied,” he said. “There are class distinctions, there are pressures, armed conflicts, and a large number of nations are being humiliated all the time. Today, justice and dignity are among the requirements of all human beings. Nations in our region and in North Africa have the same aspirations.”
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad believes that nations in the Middle East and North Africa have the ability to run their own countries and that NATO and the United Nations have made a mistake in “having meddled in Libya.”
“NATO has interfered in Libya’s affairs. The [UN] Security Council has made a mistake,” he said. “Instead of sending bombs and planes to Libya they should have sent mediation groups, in order to [help them] prepare for free elections, under the auspices of the United Nations.”
Instead, Ahmadinejad continued, the SC “hastily issued the resolution,” which has complicated the situation and led to numerous deaths among the civilian population.
Iran’s human rights situation has been a long-standing issue for international organizations, including the United Nations. However, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismisses all criticism.
“There are 35 kinds of democracy in the world. English democracy and German democracy are different,” he said. “Human rights are being violated in Europe. The same situation is in the United States, in Asia and Africa.”
“We have an independent judiciary and we have transparent legal proceedings,” the Iranian president continued. “We have mass media, we have free press. They criticize the government.”
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad admitted that Iran is far from being perfect in terms of freedoms but, he said, his country is “among the best in the world in this respect.”
Nuclear energy vs. nukes
Recently, Iran has stepped up construction works on a new set of centrifuges to produce highly enriched uranium. The West describes it as a “provocative act.” However, the Iranian leader insists that his country’s ultimate objective is to develop peaceful nuclear energy, while nuclear weapons are prohibited by Islam and, anyway, is the means of the past century.
“We do not want nuclear weapons for a few reasons… This weapon is inhumane. Because of our faith, we are against it. Our religion says it is prohibited, and we are religious people,” Mahmud Ahmadinejad explained. “Nuclear weapons have no capabilities today. If any country tries to build a nuclear bomb, in fact, they waste their money on resources and, secondly, they create a big danger to themselves.”
The President of Iran insists that no country possessing nuclear weapons has benefited from it.
“The Americans have nuclear bombs and nuclear weapons. Could they win in Iraq or in Afghanistan? Could nuclear weapons help the Zionist regime win in Lebanon and Gaza? Could nuclear weapons help the former Soviet Union avoid collapse?” he said. “Nuclear weapons are the means of the previous century. This century is the century of knowledge and thinking. It is the century of human beings. It is the century of culture and knowledge.”
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pointed out that nuclear weapons are not going to be the determining force in the world in future:
“It is about the power of people, not nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, I should say that, our goal in the country and the goal of our people, our slogan is ‘Peace for all!’ Nuclear energy for all, nuclear weapons for none! This is our goal.”
He also pointed out that Iran’s activities in the sphere of nuclear energy are closely monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA:
“There hasn’t been any document against Iran in the agency. They just claim. It is a claim by the United States, but they have no evidence that Iran is diverting [to acquiring nuclear weapons].”
Military campaign against Iran
The Iranian leader considers the possibility of the US and Israel launching a military campaign against his country real, but Iran, he says, is prepared.
“They wish to do it, they want to do it, but they know about our power. They know that we are going to give them a decisive response,” he said. “We have a saying in our language: ‘If someone throws a smaller stone, you should respond with a bigger stone.’We will defend ourselves within our capabilities.”
NPP in Bushehr and relations with Russia
Despite the recent announcement by Iranian authorities of a financial dispute with the Russian Federation over the construction of a nuclear power plant in Bushehr, the Iranian leader insists that he is not aware of any disagreements.
“I have already talked to President Dmitri Medvedev, who told me there is no obstacle to the plant launching its operations at the scheduled time,” said the Iranian president, adding that the plant is expected to be fully operational by the end of this year.
Russia’s taking part in constructing the nuclear plant in Bushehr not only marks the good relations between the two countries, but also signals to the world community Iran’s intensions to build nothing but a nuclear power plant, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told RT’s Kevin Owen.
“Iran and Russia are neighbors at least in terms of geography. This is something that cannot be changed,” said the Iranian leader. “Earlier I had very productive talks with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin besides negotiations with President Medvedev. I hope we can extend our relations, especially taking into account current changes in the global economy and politics. Iran and Russia could offer joint solutions to current international problems.”
President Ahmadinejad – after presidency
With presidential elections coming up in 2013, RT asked President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of his plans, as this is the second, meaning the final, term of presidency for the Iranian leader. President Ahmadinejad replied he is not going to be idle after the elections.
“I am a university professor and I have retained this post and qualification. I will continue to serve the nation anywhere, and in the university there will be no problem about that,” he said.
On being asked what he will miss most about his presidential job, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, half-laughing, “I will miss myself.”
In his concluding words, the Iranian leader addressed viewers with words of solidarity:
“We love and respect all human beings, disregarding the language, religion and the color of skin. We are very sad to see discrimination and poverty in the world. Hopefully, a day will come when the world is void of that. We are also sad to see the world suffer from conflicts and we hope peace will prevail. This is not going to happen unless we all join hands. We should come together to make a better tomorrow for our children.”