Euronews’ exclusive interview with Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came on the day that the former Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, went on trial.
Afterwards, euronews interviewed Ahmad Salamatian, a former member of the Iranian parliament, now an analyst on Iranian affairs based in Paris.
Said Kamali, euronews:
“Mr Ahmadinejad regretted the gap between certain governments and their people who were forced to bring their leaders to justice.
In your opinion, how do you measure the gap that currently separates the Iranian government from the people, two years after the controversial presidential election and ahead of next year’s parliamentary vote?”
Ahmad Salamatian, former Iranian MP:
“The problem is not only the gap. But if a gap has widened between people and governments it’s because the right of people to elect their leaders has not been respected. The Iranian government is no exception. The images from yesterday (showing Mubarak) have sparked an anxiety among Iranian leaders wondering when their turn will arrive.”
“But as you know, the leaders of the Iranian opposition, Mehdi Karoubi and Hussein Mousavi are under house arrest. Mr Ahmadinejad has absolved himself of responsibility by saying that the Iranian judicial authorities act independently. What do you think of that, given the fact that according to the Iranian constitution, the president of the republic should make sure the constitution is applied?”
“He not only makes sure the constitution is applied, but above all he has twice taken the oath under that constitution. So, he has committed himself to help the people benefit from the freedom that the constitution guarantees him. Until now, the Iranian judicial authorities have not put forward any legal justification for having put Karoubi and Mousavi under house arrest, and as some say, taking them hostage.”
“Last question: in his interview on Wednesday night, the Iranian president tried to make conciliatory comments towards European leaders, with whom his relationship has been tense these past few years because of sanctions. In your opinion, is there a particular reason behind this attempt to restart a dialogue with these European leaders?”
“President Ahmadinejad’s recent policy aimed at reducing tension is because of the (Iran’s) internal political situation. Taking into consideration the fact that his extremist foreign policy no longer works on the international stage. In addition, he’s looking to shirk his own responsibility for having created problems for the Islamic republic. That’s why in the coming months he’s going to try to show a more moderate face to his political rivals, especially concerning international affairs.”