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September 24, 2007
Ahmadinejad in his Own Words
A transcript of the CBS 60 Minutes interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reveals a man who is oblivious to what is going on in the world and how he and his government are perceived.
Ahmadinejad on visiting Ground Zero:
AHMADINEJAD: Well, I wouldn't say that what the American government says is the prerequisite here. Something happened there which led to other events. Many innocent people were killed there. Some of those people were American citizens obviously. We obviously are very much against any terrorist action and any killing. And also we are very much against any plots to sow the seeds of discord among nations. Usually you go to these sites to pay your respects. And also to perhaps air your views about the root causes of such incidents. I think that when I do that, I will be paying, as I said earlier, my respect to the American nation.
On the 2006 elections where Democrats took control of Congress:
AHMADINEJAD: What I'm saying is that the American people very clearly have shown that they do not endorse what certain American officials are saying and doing. I remind you of the rallies in Washington a couple of days ago. What were they saying and shouting? Perhaps 70, 80 percent of the American people are against their troops, their sons and daughters being in Iraq and war. And as I said, they're very much against war. And for that matter, the American people are peace-loving people. You shouldn't think that what the American officials are doing and their behavior reflects completely the mood of the American people. And American officials must not make the American people a victim of their wants and wishes. And we make a distinction between the American people and American officials. And the American people are opposed to occupation, the use of force, and also terrorism, the killing of the people of other nations. And this is what we are saying. This is what we believe in. With that in mind, we feel very close to the American people. And I'm sure that this is reciprocal. A couple of days ago, an American scientist, a scholar, wrote to me saying that he has a great love for Iran. And once he passes, he wants to be buried in this country. The two nations are very close to one another
On Iran's role in Iraq:
Ahmadinejad: Why should we have war in Iraq and insecurity? I believe that the people behind the insecurity are those who, from thousands of kilometers away, have brought in troops. First, they said that they want to topple the dictator and find WMDs [weapons of mass destruction]. They didn't find WMDs and there's no dictator there anymore. So the question is: What are American troops doing right now in Iraq? They have to answer, respond to these questions. We are not interfering in Iraq. The Iraqi people are our friends. And the president, the prime minister, the speaker of the parliament are our friends. We don't need to interfere in Iraq. We are two nations which have been connected through history. Each year millions of Iranians go to Iraq for pilgrimage. And in a number of these bombings inside Iraq, Iranian citizens have been killed. We want peace; we want security in Iraq; and it only serves our own interests. And those American officials who see the interest in a continued occupation of Iraq, I ask them to reconsider. They should leave alone the Iraqi nation and also their own soldiers. And they shouldn't accuse others needlessly. We basically oppose the killing of any person, innocent persons, from any race or community. As I said, the Iraqi people have been victimized. We feel very sad for them. Equally, we feel sad for American soldiers and troops because they don't know why they're there. They are the victims of the, if you will, the wants and wishes of certain American officials.
Reporter Scott Pelley tried to pin Ahmadienjead down on Iran supplying weapons to Iraqi insurgents that are killing Americans:
PELLEY: Mr. President, I want to be very direct and very clear. Many Americans believe that you have American blood on your hands. Are you saying that it is not the policy of this government to send weapons into Iraq? Sir, forgive me, you're smiling, but this is a very serious matter to America.
AHMADINEJAD: Well, it's serious for us as well. I daresay it's serious for everyone. I'm just amazed as the representative of the media, why do you insist on the untrue accusations leveled by your government? This doesn't solve anything. It seems to me it's laughable for someone to turn a blind eye to the truth and accuse others. It doesn't help. And the reason that I'm smiling, again, it's because that the picture is so clear. But American officials refuse to see it. And I think that as a member of the media, your responsibility here is to talk about the truth and back home to force your officials to appreciate the truth and take the correct decision. The problem in Iraq doesn't have anything to do with the Iraqi people. For that matter the killing of American troops doesn't have anything to do with the Iraqi people. And as we have security, things will be better. And we don't want to see a single soldier killed. The solutions we are putting on the table are very humane. And, again, we are asking for very basic things from the American officials, to respect the wishes of the Iraqi people and also their rights..
PELLEY: Mr. President, can you tell me that you are not sending weapons to Iraq? Very simple. Very directly.
AHMADINEJAD: We don't need to do that. We are very much opposed to war and insecurity in Iraq.
PELLEY: Is that "no," sir?
Give Pelley credit. He tried his best but in the end, Ahmadeinejad refused to deny outright that Iran was supplying the insurgents in Iraq with weapons that are killing Americans.
These brief snippets from a very long interview are fully representative of Ahmadinejad's mindset. He believes his lies as fervently as he believes in the Koran. When he says he doesn't want to see anyone killed in Iraq, you almost believe him, so sincere he is.
This is the kind of pious obfuscation we can expect at Columbia when he speaks there on Monday afternoon. I doubt very much whether any questions that are allowed will illuminate anything except his sadness that the American government is so evil while the American people are so good.
It will only work on the willfully self deluded - which includes most of the left in this country who believe this terrorist supporting scum over the evidence presented by their own government on Iran