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Jon Davies, euronews:
 
Mr. President can I start with some compelling images which we saw today on Iranian TV, on TV throughout the Middle East and throughout the world. We saw former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, on a stretcher in a cage being accused of corruption and mass murder. What were your thoughts when you watched those pictures?
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“I must express regret that some leaders have such a tarnished relationship with their people that they get to this point. We should express regret for the management of some nations that in order to achieve a certain level of freedom, they have to ask for the trial of their leaders. I hope world management will be revised in a manner so that world leaders will come from among people and will work for the people along with the people. We hope that there will be no clashes or fights among the people.”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
Were you happy to see Hosni Mubarak brought to court so that the  process of justice could get under way?
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“We do not have any special view in this respect. We are sorry that the work management is such that there is such distance between some nations and their leaders.”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
Syria is another example. Mr President. We’re seeing an ongoing uprising there as we’ve seen in many other countries in the Middle East – an ongoing and very bloody uprising too. Do you think that President Assad is handling the situation there well?
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“We believe that the nations have a right to have freedom; they should be free to make their choice and to live with justice. At the same time, we believe that if others would not interfere, the nations in the Middle East would be able to solve their own problems. Many of the problems that we witness today and we are used to witnessing in the past have been due to the interference of others. If there are problems in certain places, then we should try to seek the roots in past intervention in past interferences.”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
People have the right to challenge their government and we saw it in Iran in 2009. Do you think that what we’ve seen elsewhere in the Middle East might happen in Iran too or are you confident that everything is stable here?
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“What happened in Iran is not similar to what happens in other countries. A completely free election was held in Iran. It was the most free election in the world. More than 85 percent of the people took part in the election. 40 million people voted, all those 40 million are Iranian nationals living together. However, attacking buildings, people and cars is forbidden in all countries. It’s natural that the police and the judiciary would get involved.”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
I’m not saying that the situations are similar. They’re not, and indeed situations are different even among the countries where there have been uprisings. But what I am saying Mr. President is that there is a parallel to me because what we saw on the streets was public dissatisfaction. Yes there was an election, you’ve said that just now. Their dissatisfaction was with the result and they wanted to express their dissatisfaction with the result and didn’t they have the right to do that?
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“Yes according to our laws there are legal ways to express objection and there are legal authorities that see to complaints in the course of elections. We see that there are demonstrations in Europe as well, and we see that the police act very harshly. Do you think that there will be changes in Europe? Are people in Europe happy with their governments? Are they able to change their governments?”

Jon Davies, euronews:

Yes they can. The difference perhaps, I think, in the view of the European Union for instance, is that opposition party leaders and those with disagreements with the government are not necessarily arrested and put under house arrest or in in jail because of their political activities. They have the right to express those political activities and those political points of view without the fear or threat of violence or arrest, or any other kind of infringement on their human rights. I think that’s the difference that is seen from outside Iran.
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“I believe that they are even a few steps further in Europe; the governments do not even allow opposition to be formed. Those who express their views about the basic European issues are imprisoned. For example, the issues of the regions in the world today are all based on what happened in the Second World War. Are people allowed to write the truth and the realities of the Second World War? Or can they take any measures against the prevalent systems? I’m sure they can’t, but in Iran people express their objections through legal channels and their complaints are seen to. However some scientists are now in prison for expressing their historical views.”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
OK, that’s a completely different line of questioning. You asked earlier on, does the opposition in Europe ever manage to topple a government? Well, just about this time last year in the UK, the leader of the opposition, David Cameron, did topple the government in an election and became leader. So that’s an answer to the question that you put before. If I can move on Mr President…
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“They are not the opposition. The opposition were those who were beaten up in the streets of London. The students who were beaten up and had bloody faces. Who listens to their statements in Europe? In Greece, Spain, Italy, who listens to people’s statements or words? There is no one there listening to them. Accept my word.”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
Are you saying that the anti-austerity protests that we’ve seen in Greece, as you say quite rightly, and in London for different reasons are the same as those we saw in Iran in 2009?
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“No, no. The situation is much worse in Europe….”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
I’m sorry could you clarify that. The situation in Europe is much worse or the situation in Iran in 2009 is much worse?
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“I’m just trying to explain. That is true. In Europe, the majority of the people are being punished financially for issues that they had no role in. The people do not determine political policies, economic policies. People don’t have any role in the economic profit-making, but they’re paying the price for it. When they object, they are beaten up, this is really bad. The people in Europe did not break telephone boxes, they just made very simple objections. I think that we should try to find the root of the problem and solve it.”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
Like you say, there are a lot of people paying the price for the faults of others in Europe and the United States. I wonder if the same could be said for the people of Iran who are paying the price in their ordinary everyday lives for the imposition of sanctions on Iran which were made last year, the trade embargo, the distant foreign relations that you have with many countries outside Iran. I’m not saying all, but many. Isn’t it the ordinary people of Iran who are paying the price here in their ordinary everyday lives?
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“Yes, that’s the true. The Iranian people are paying the price for the erroneous policies of the European leaders.”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
Not you Mr President?
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“These are the erroneous policies of the European leaders. We haven’t done anything wrong. It’s been 30 years now that some European leaders are against us. Why are they truly against us? Is it because we’re free? Because we have democracy? Because we have ousted one of their European friends - the former Shah? Because we are against some of the expansionist policies of some European countries? Take a look at Afghanistan and Iraq - what did they do wrong? I think that the policy pursued by some of the European leaders has caused problems for some European nations, as well as other nations.”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
If you’ll forgive us Mr. President, it does sound like everything is everybody else’s fault and you don’t play any role in this at all. It almost sounds as if one day the United Nations Security Council woke up and decided to impose sanctions on Iran, but I’m sure there was a role being played, probably here in the presidential palace wasn’t there?
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“No they did not wake up in the morning. America has been against us for over 30 years. Who supported Saddam for eight years in the war against Iran? For eight years it was America and some European governments. They’re continuing the same policy. I have a serious question to ask - have the policies of some European countries and America in the past 32 years been right against Iran? Have we ever been an aggressor to another country? Have we ever attacked another country? Have we ever started a war at the borders of Europe? No. We have always hoped to have fair and friendly relationships. I believe that the European leaders should know that the Shah will never come back to Iran.”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
The Shah was over 30 years ago Mr President…

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:

“They should accompany the Iranian nation after the Shah’s Iran. I think that the problem will only be solved when everyone recognises the other side.”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
Domestically, what’s your position now for the second half of your second term as president? Are you in a strong position here in Iran?
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“We’re doing our duty. We’re using every minute to serve the people.”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
There’s a gap growing though, isn’t there, between yourself and the parliament? It’s being seen from outside Iran. There’s a gap growing between yourself and the Supreme Leader. Does this weaken your position?
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“I think in a free society such things happen. There should always be discussions between parliament and the government. Is it bad to have a free government and a free parliament? The position of the leader is also clear in Iran. There are no differences. We’re a free society in which everyone can express his or her views. There’s no problem there. Do you realise that the parliament voted for four new ministers today? And they were all voted for by high numbers, so there is freedom in this country.”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
Is there freedom for Mirhossain Moussavi who is under house arrest? Is there freedom for Mehdi Karoubi who’s under house arrest? Do they have the freedom to express their opposition? It’s evident that they are opposed to you, but do they have the freedom to do that from their prison cell or their guarded house?
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“There are prisoners in all countries. Are there no prisoners in the UK?”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
Yes Mr. President, but I’m talking about the prisons and jails in this country and the ones where Mr. Moussavi and Mr. Karoubi are staying.
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“There are prisons everywhere. There are problems with the judiciary. The judiciary in Iran is independent. I don’t have the right to interfere in what judges decide. There are certain laws according to which people can interact with the judiciary. If you’re asking my personal view, I wish and I hope that there will be not even one single prisoner in the world. In all parts of the world. In Abu Ghraib. In all hidden prisons in Europe.”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
What will you do Mr President, what efforts will you make, to make sure that wish begins here in Iran with people who are in prison simply for expressing their views, which can be done in any democratic country in the world?
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“Nobody is in prison just for expressing their views. Under our law people are allowed to express their views. You may stay in Iran for one week and read the newspapers. The most radical criticism against the president can be seen and read in the newspapers. There are various people who criticise the president, without any fear. So freedom is at its highest level in Iran. I don’t want to say that we are at the ideal point, but we are much  better than many other European countries. There are some common problems which can be seen all around the world. No one can claim that they’re at the most ideal point when it comes to justice. Injustice is a general issue around the world. We’re among the best in terms of justice.”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
You’ve had a good go at European countries and European democracy Mr President. I wonder, is there anything that you would like to see particularly between Iran and the European Union?
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“We hope to have good ties. I want to say explicitly that the time of colonial powers has ended. The time of slavery has also ended. The era, the post Second World War era, has also ended. Today the entire world should contribute to the management of the world. All countries could contribute. All should help to build a better world. We believe that the world economy can be much better managed. The political milieu of the world can be much better managed too. We believe that instead of hostility we should all be friends; why can’t we all be friends? What is good about hostility? We should join hands and manage the world in a fair and just manner. Everyone should be respected.”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
Specifically Mr President, is there anything you’d like to see between Iran and the European Union apart from joining hands and being friends? Is there anything specific that would benefit the people of Iran for instance?
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“I believe that the relationship between Iran and Europe should not be affected by the American influence. In the Second World War, damage was incurred on the European people. They paid the price for the damages of the Second World War, but the Americans made profit out of the war. We are neighbours of Europe. We want to have friendly ties with Europe. The conditions in Afghanistan today are not in the interests of anyone. The rights of the people of Afghanistan should be respected and the problems in that country should be resolved.”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
Is it a precondition of the European countries that are members of the NATO force in Afghanistan should have to withdraw before this hand of friendship is extended?
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“No, no, no. This is a suggestion for cooperation. We believe that the European countries are putting themselves in a bad position by opposing us. We can have very good economic ties. We can also have very good political ties.”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
You want to sell Europe your gas don’t you?
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“Why should we be hostile? If they want it. We don’t insist on anything. You know that gas is not something that would not be sold in the international markets. There are many clients for gas. These are all just excuses to improve friendship. We can have technical cooperation. We can have political cooperation and even cultural cooperation. We’ve never had any problem with the European people. What harm has there been from the side of the Iranian people towards Europeans? Nothing. The Iranian people have never harmed European people. However, some European governments have harmed Iran a lot. So we have always had to look to the future.”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
Are you prepared to extend the same hand of friendship in the near future to the United States - a country with whom you’ve had no proper diplomatic relationship for 30 years? Also, let’s not forget a country which is the biggest economy in the world and which could well benefit the state of Iran. Is there any chance you’re going to extend the hand of friendship there any time soon?
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“We believe that there should be friendly relationships at the international level and that’s the basic principle. But the Americans and their administration are confused. They don’t know what to do. They don’t follow clear policies. They stopped their relationship with us. The Americans thought that if they stopped their relationship with Iran we would be destroyed. 31 years have passed since then and we’re still sitting here. The Iranian nation is making progress. We believe that the American government should change it policies. To a certain extent they should respect others and observe justice.”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
With respect Mr President, with regard to the nuclear issue, which worries not only the United States, when you say one thing and appear to do something different it doesn’t engender the conditions for anybody to become more friendly and extend that hand of peace.
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“Why? What have we done wrong?”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
Well specifically in terms of the nuclear program, you say – and I have no reason to disbelieve you….
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“Is nuclear activity forbidden?”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
I’m not even saying they’re prohibited. Let me explain. Your stated aim is that your nuclear program is for peaceful means, to produce electricity and energy, and I challenge anybody to argue with that as a peaceful goal. However, there is the belief among scientists in the West, outside Iran, that you are in fact enriching uranium to such a level - 20 percent specifically – that there’s no connection at all with peaceful production of energy for the use of a peaceful people. So what we have is that, on one hand, you are saying something in public, that you want to use it for peaceful means. On the other hand, you appear to be doing something that only has one objective, and that is to work towards a bomb.
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“You ask a very good question. I just felt you were very sincere in your question. Allow me to explain. Firstly, those who claim that we are moving towards military activities are not Western scientists, they are Western politicians. So if you put this into the context of the western hostility towards Iran…”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
Is Iran enriching uranium to 20 percent?
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“Yes.”
 
Jon Davies, euronews:
 
And do you have plans to triple that production of uranium at 20 percent?
 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
 
“The production of uranium at 20 per cent is just for peaceful purposes. This is for a reactor that produces active radio drops. It just produces drops. The 20 percent is not good for anything else, it’s only good for drugs and agricultural purposes. The countries that are capable of enriching uranium can produce uranium at any percentage. This is the capability that we have. At the same time, we’re among the limited number of countries whose activities are under the control of the IAEA cameras. When we say we don’t have any intention to build a bomb, we’re honest and sincere. We believe that today if someone wants to build a bomb he’s crazy and insane. This is for two reasons. One is that those who have bombs are in graver danger than those who don’t. The bombs that exist in Germany, in Belgium and other European countries cause a great threat to all European countries. An atomic bomb is against all humans. Second, the nuclear bomb is useless and ineffective. The Zionist regime has nuclear bombs. At the same time, did it succeed in its war against the Gazans? Did its nuclear bomb give it victory in the 33 Day War against Lebanon? Allow me to ask another question - were the former Soviet Union’s nuclear bombs able to save the Soviet Union from collapse? Nuclear bombs were used 60 years ago in order to provide an upper hand in political equations, but today they have no value. Thought has value, public opinion has value, human beings have value. We believe that in the future no one will ever be able to use nuclear bombs. We believe that’s the end of the story.”

Copyright © 2014 euronews

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