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Iran's Ahmadinejad: We Don't Want Confrontation With Anyone

Iran's Ahmadinejad: We Don't Want Confrontation With Anyone

Anti-Ahmadinejad rallies outside the UN today turned into anti-Obama rallies critical of the senator's support of talks with Iran. Meanwhile, NPR opened a dialogue of its own with the Iranian president. Here are some highlights from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's interview with the station, during which he says Iran seeks no confrontation.

  • On Iran's stated plans to enrich uranium for energy, not for a bomb:
    The people of the world, the majority actually, support our stand. One hundred eighteen member states of NAM have declared their commitment to our program and supported it. The Non-Aligned Movement. And 57 member states of the OIC, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, too have supported our position. . . . You are speaking of only three or four countries, led by the United States and with a couple of their European friends, and we don't care about them, because they don't represent the whole world.
  • On whether international confrontation is in Iran's interest:
    We do not have any confrontation with anyone. We seek relations based on respect and justice. . . . Why is it that the US administration and two or three groups that follow it allow themselves to speak for the world?
  • On the American elections:
    I ask you, can anyone in fact become a president without the support of either of the two parties here in the United States? . . . Are 300 million people here in America members of either of the two parties? No, not necessarily. People have no other choices here. You only have two choices. In Iran, at least, we have eight. Who is more free? Who has more confidence in its people?

To find out how Iran's president addresses his statements toward Israel, freedoms in Iran, and how he thinks the US and Iran can move forward,


  • On whether rhetoric about wiping Israel off the map plays into the hands of Bush:
    You are aware that 55 years ago, the US government overthrew the national government of Iran. . . . For over 25 years under the dictatorship, hundreds of thousands of our people went to prison . . . whilst our oil was being looted by American companies. Our people were demeaned. Our independence was harmed. Until the Iranian people rose [in] a popular and democratic event to create the Islamic revolution. . . . While America was there, we had no elections in our country. . . . The eight years of war between Saddam [Hussein] and our country were actually supported directly by the United States. From day one, our people were — sanctions were imposed on our people. So who exactly is the provocateur? Who is the one who seeks war?
  • On whether the US and Iran can move forward:
    Well, yes. Of course, we've never entered the US and caused problems for the people here, but the American government has done that to us. So our first proposal is that they have to stop doing that.

  • On what Iran could do:
    I sent a letter to Mr. Bush. That was a very good opening. I even said that I am prepared to talk at the United Nations with them. We responded positively to the request made by US government to extend a hand of cooperation in a joint security commission involved in upholding a security force for Iraq.
  • On freedoms in Iran:
    There's a lot of freedom in Iran. The example is our interview with you. Can you ask your own president these questions? Can you really so freely meet with him so easily? Never.

After reading Ahmadinejad's interview, would you like US leaders sit down with him?

Join The Conversation
milosmommy milosmommy 8 years
Good luck with the job search and Happy Birthday! :)
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
I'm surviving. The past month has been pretty insane. We moved, I got laid off, and I just celebrated my 38th birthday. YAY! Now I'm just trying to regroup and look at my options. I'm leaving with the full support of my company. They'll give me good references and letter of recommendation so wish me luck.
milosmommy milosmommy 8 years
Well said hypno. And long time no are you? :wave:
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Well if I've said it once I've said it a dozen times our actions historically are coming back to revisit us with (potentially) negative consequences. Most people just don't think about History when it comes to current relations with foreign nations. All they here is "Evil Empire" "Axis of Evil" and disasterously those sound bites are what satisfies our justification for treating another nation with hostility. Well I've got news for you Iranians are not inherently evil but just like anyone of us they can have an ax to grind. As President Ahmadinejad pointed out the U.S. has been meddling with Iran for 55yrs! Let me ask you this if oil is not our objective why on earth do we keep F'ing with these people now for over half a century? Damn if someone picked at me that long your darn tootin I'd buy me a big @$$ gun to keep you at bay. I for one minute am not fooled by our administrations suggestion that nations such as Iran (hate) our liberty and freedom. In my opinion what nations such as Iran hate is the U.S. taking liberties with power and manipulation. We are guilty of it, we know we are and it's time we at the very least stop it if not own up to it. History is on the witness stand and in its testimony we will find the truth. Now as for President Mighty Mouth Ahmadinejad I may not blame him for calling a spade a spade but he's not going to win his hand by taunting the card dealer. He needs to reel in his rhetoric because his over the top hostile statements are only making the benefit of diplomacy a rocky road at best. The problem is at this point both sides are out to win and prove that they are right which is not good for any of us American or Iranian.
stephley stephley 8 years
By that standard, we shouldn't talk to anyone.
melizzle melizzle 8 years
Not to fan the flames... but just remember, sometimes, people are not as good as their word. Munich Agreement, anyone?
yesteryear yesteryear 8 years
the last thing we should be worrying about is ahmadinejad. right now our "government" is actually discussing handing over some of the last constitutional powers from congress to the executive branch through this so-called "bailout" package - no oversight allowed. yes, congress is DISCUSSING this - not just putting its collective foot down and screaming "ARE YOU KIDDING?!". no matter your party affiliation, you should be flipping out about this. it's not republican or democrat anymore. it's regular people like us, against an elite group of people who have been running things for the past 30 years. wake up! we need to be rioting in the streets. i'm going to keep saying it, because it's true.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
The UN and the US would like to keep Iran from being able to enrich their own uranium, and we would like to bomb those plants before they become active, if the world is unable to convice senior psychopath that it is in his own best interest that he tear those factories down.
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
"And McCain wasn't talking about bombing every square inch of Iran. He was talking about bombing the nuclear plants and centrifugal plants. Do you not see the difference?" Actually I don't, enlighten me. I don't think even with an atomic bomb (which bombing nuclear power plants could create if they re on-line at the time) would cover every square inch of a country. So I don't see the subtley of the difference. He makes some great points I hate to admit, I wish we had more than two main parties in this country or we wouldn't have congressional deadlock and be talking about bi-partisanship as an extraordinary presidential qualification so much.
mymellowman mymellowman 8 years
Maybe would could send an ambassador over to speak with him. How about sending ol' Jimmy Carter?
azulsky azulsky 8 years
I'd rather the US leaders actually talk to Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran, the man who has the final say in Iranian affairs, in what they will or wont do. I think that Ahmaddinejad is used as a fear tactic by some in the West, he's the President but Khamenei is the person the West needs to talk to.
gidigirl gidigirl 8 years
UnDave, Are you suggesting that it would be o.k for Ahmaddinejad to suggest, bombing American Nuclear plants just not every square inch of the U.S.? Am i missing your point?
letsgetloud21 letsgetloud21 8 years
Is Jack running for President?
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
Big Jimbo you remind me of some one. Can't quite put my finger on it. :ponder:
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
Yeah, McCain was only talking about the GOOD kind of bombing...duh. What about McCain's son, Jack, who just wants to "kill all the towel-heads," would that be an entire group of people? Ahmaddinejad's rhetoric against Israel is bad, I agree, and it's a solid reason not to like this guy. But I don't think it means you refuse to take him seriously as a world leader, and completely boycott any rational dialogue with him.
Big-Jimbo Big-Jimbo 8 years
85%, eh? It's so interesting how so many people here can read minds and know what a vast majority of Americans are thinking. Hmm.
Ginger Ginger 8 years
Every time I've listened or read Mahmoud Ahmadinejad talk in his own words, I've found him to be pretty intelligent and logical. It seems as though the reactionary media spin of what he says that makes he seem otherwise. And that includes his recent points on Israel, as reported to the LA Times: "Ahmadinejad, who is expected to address the UN General Assembly's annual session on Tuesday, told the LA Times that Iran promotes a shift in power in Israel by means of elections in which Palestinian residents and returning refugees would vastly outnumber Jews and vote into power a single government over what is now Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.' "Who are these people? Where did they come from?" he asked in reference to Jews who founded the State of Israel in the wake of the Nazi slaughter in Europe during World War II. "If we agree and accept that certain events had occurred during World War II, well, where did they indeed happen? In Germany, in Poland…Now what does this exactly have to do with Palestine? Why is it that the Palestinian people should pay for it?" Human Right Watch says: "Palestinians are the world's oldest and largest refugee population, and make up more than one fourth of all refugees. Asia hosts 45 percent of all refugees, followed by Africa (30 percent), Europe (19 percent) and North America (5 percent)." (Dispelling the popular myth that the US takes on the majority of refugees in the world.)
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
And McCain wasn't talking about bombing every square inch of Iran. He was talking about bombing the nuclear plants and centrifugal plants. Do you not see the difference?
gidigirl gidigirl 8 years
Who or what do you think is in Iran if not an entire group of people?
LiberalOnMyMind LiberalOnMyMind 8 years
Ahmadinejad's take on American elections is sadly true.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Yes some of our guys have talked about bombing another country, but that is vastly different than talking about the extinction of an entire group of people.
letsgetloud21 letsgetloud21 8 years
stephley stephley 8 years
Reagan openly joked about sending bombers to Russia, Bush talks about an axis of evil, and McCain sings 'bomb bomb bomb Iran' - we've got no room to talk about other guys sounding psycho.
gidigirl gidigirl 8 years
UnDave... MCcain sings "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" Is he Psycho?
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
"Jude C, I agree with you. I think at least 85% of our country's hostility towards Ahmadinejad and Iran in general is our generalized and somewhat ignorant distaste for the so-called "incompetent, dangerous, terrorist" Middle Eastern dictator-leaders. Like everyone said, the guy is clearly no totally level-headed saint, but he's not a psycho, either." This man talks openly about the destrucion of Isreal, as well as the west, and yet he's not a psycho? :oy:
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