Future belongs to Iran, says Ahmadinejad

Future belongs to Iran, says Ahmadinejad

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that “the future belongs to Iran”, as he arrived in the United States to attend the annual General Assembly of the United Nations.

He challenged the US to accept that his country has a major role in the world.

He insisted that his government did not want an atomic bomb and that Iran was only seeking peace and a nuclear-weapons-free world.

In an interview with the Associated Press, he repeatedly sidestepped questions on when Iran would resume talks on its disputed nuclear programme and he said anti-nuclear sanctions against his government would have no effect.

He also deflected questions about his government’s harsh suppression of opposition forces after last year’s disputed election that returned him to a second term.

“The United States’ administrations ... must recognise that Iran is a big power,” he said.

“Having said that, we consider ourselves to be a human force and a cultural power and hence a friend of other nations. We have never sought to dominate others or to violate the rights of any other country.

“Those who insist on having hostilities with us, kill and destroy the option of friendship with us in the future, which is unfortunate because it is clear the future belongs to Iran and that enmities will be fruitless.”

He did not acknowledge that the leaders of the political opposition in Iran have been harassed and that government opponents risk violence and arrest if they try to stage protests.

He did concede that there have been some judicial “mistakes”.

Ahmadinejad argued that the opposition Green Movement, which has largely been forced underground, continues to enjoys rights in Iran but said that in the end it must respect “majority rule”.

He did not mention that many newspapers have been closed down and that prominent opposition figures were put in prison and then tried after tens of thousands of Iranians took to the streets claiming that the election that put him back in power in 2010 was stolen.

Ahmadinejad said international nuclear regulators had never found proof that Iran is pursuing an atomic bomb.

“We are not afraid of nuclear weapons. The point is that if we had in fact wanted to build a nuclear bomb, we are brave enough to say that we want it. But we never do that. We are saying that the arsenal of nuclear bombs (worldwide) have to be destroyed as well,” he said.

The US accuses Iran of hiding plans to build a nuclear bomb; Iran denies that and says it’s working only toward building nuclear power plants.

More on this topic

Iran flags timely major oil discoveryIran flags timely major oil discovery

Iran begins work on second nuclear power reactorIran begins work on second nuclear power reactor

Iranian women enjoy World Cup qualifier as Tehran lifts decades-old banIranian women enjoy World Cup qualifier as Tehran lifts decades-old ban

'Corpse Bride' Instagram star arrested in Iran on number of charges'Corpse Bride' Instagram star arrested in Iran on number of charges

More in this Section

Hong Kong police enter university campus held by protestersHong Kong police enter university campus held by protesters

Venice hit by third exceptional tide in less than a weekVenice hit by third exceptional tide in less than a week

Iraqi protester killed amid fresh clashes on Baghdad bridgeIraqi protester killed amid fresh clashes on Baghdad bridge

Duke of York’s interview comments ‘could one day be used against him’Duke of York’s interview comments ‘could one day be used against him’


Lifestyle

ACCLAIMED filmmaker Damian O’Callaghan is well used to creating cinematic magic on screen.Wedding of the Week: Filmmaker Damian meets his real-life leading lady

From age 6, I was on stage. I started with school plays but it never occurred to me that it would become my job.This much I know with writer and performer Joanne Ryan

I’m 30 and have been with my boyfriend for nearly two years.Sex Advice with Suzi Godson: I can't help him to climax...

For the interiors lover who can’t resist a New Year’s revamp or a simple freshening up, there are plenty of new books on the shelves to inspire, writes Carol O’CallaghanFour new books to inspire your interiors renovation

More From The Irish Examiner