Saturday, Sept 19th, 2009
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says his country doesn’t ‘need nuclear weapons’, adding that Iran is ‘very much able to defend’ itself without them.
In an interview with US network NBC, Ahmadinejad said nuclear arms were not ‘part of Iran’s programs’, while stressing that Tehran would not abandon its uranium enrichment activities.
When asked by NBC host Ann Curry if there was ‘a condition under which Iran would weaponize’, Ahmadinejad said, “We don’t have such a need for nuclear weapons. We don’t need nuclear weapons. Without such weapons, we are very much able to defend ourselves.”
“If you are talking about the enrichment of uranium for peaceful purposes, this will never be closed down here in Iran. But if you are talking about weapons, we don’t need such a weapon. It’s not a part of our any – of our programs and plans.”
Iran has repeatedly denied Western allegations that it is developing nuclear weapons under the cover of its uranium enrichment activities. Tehran has called for the removal of all weapons of mass destruction across the globe.
On Israel’s threat of an attack on Iran, Ahmadinejad said Tel Aviv was not capable of doing so, but said Iran’s reaction to a strike, if it were to happen, is ‘decisive’.
The Iranian president welcomed a US decision to abandon its missile defense system in Europe, saying it was a ‘sign leading to change’.
Asked if he has a message for US President Barack Obama, Ahmadinejad said the ‘military policy of various US administrations has failed’ and thus a change in the world order was required.
“We think that the world needs to be governed using new methods. We are hoping that real change will happen. We are also ready to assist with that.”
He added that Iran was ready to help the United States alter the existing conditions.
“If Mr. Obama seriously is looking to bring about change, we will assist the gentleman. And we are hoping that he will succeed.”
Ahmadinejad stressed that the policies of ‘a handful of countries’, including Britain and the US are threatening the Middle East with an arms race.
“First the nuclear arsenals in the US and Britain need to be destroyed, dismantled. And then no one would doubt the good will of the US around the world,” he said.
On the recent June 12 presidential election, Ahmadinejad said the election was ‘fair and legal’, adding that ‘Iran’s government has been legitimate’ all through the thirty years following the victory of the Islamic Revolution.
It was natural that a candidate won over other contenders during an election, the president said, maintaining that differences of opinion were a common issue in any political system.
“Elections are organized so that people, different parties, do not think that their point of view is the only prevailing one. It’s very clear…that different people, different parties will have different points of view”.
This article was posted: Saturday, September 19, 2009 at 5:51 am