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Ahmadinejad says nuclear weapons a thing of the past
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altTEHRAN - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that the 21st century is about knowledge, while nukes are the means of the past and are not going to be a determining force in the world in future.  

Ahmadinejad made the remarks during an interview with Russia Today (RT) on August 13. His comments were later translated into English by this television network.   

Commenting on the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, Ahmadinejad said, “We do not want nuclear weapons for a few reasons… This weapon is inhumane. Because of our faith, we are against it. Our religion says it is prohibited, and we are religious people.”

“Nuclear weapons have no capabilities today. If any country tries to build a nuclear bomb, in fact, they waste their money on resources and, secondly, they create a big danger to themselves,” he stated. 

No country possessing nuclear weapons has benefited from it, Ahmadinejad said, adding, “The Americans have nuclear bombs and nuclear weapons. Could they win in Iraq or in Afghanistan? Could nuclear weapons help the Zionist regime win in Lebanon and Gaza? Could nuclear weapons help the former Soviet Union avoid collapse?” 

He added, “Nuclear weapons are the means of the previous century. This century is the century of knowledge and thinking. It is the century of human beings. It is the century of culture and knowledge.”

Ahmadinejad pointed out that nuclear weapons are not going to be the determining force in the world in future, saying, “It is about the power of people, not nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, I should say that, our goal in the country and the goal of our people, our slogan is ‘Peace for all!’ Nuclear energy for all, nuclear weapons for none! This is our goal.” 

He also stated that Iran’s activities in the sphere of nuclear energy are closely monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). 

“There hasn’t been any document against Iran in the agency. They just claim. It is a claim by the United States, but they have no evidence that Iran is diverting [to acquiring nuclear weapons],” Ahmadinejad said.  

 Israel, U.S. dare not attack Iran 
Asked to comment on the possibility of the U.S. and Israel’s military campaign against Iran, Ahmadinejad said, “They wish to do it, they want to do it, but they know about our power. They know that we are going to give them a decisive response,” he said. “We have a saying in our language: ‘If someone throws a smaller stone, you should respond with a bigger stone.’ We will defend ourselves within our capabilities.” 

 Bushehr power plant to be launched on schedule 

Elsewhere in his remarks, Ahmadinejad spoke about the launch of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, saying, “I have already talked to President Dmitri Medvedev, who told me there is no obstacle to the plant launching its operations at the scheduled time.” 

The plant is expected to be fully operational by the end of this year, he added. 

He went on to say that Russia’s taking part in constructing the nuclear plant in Bushehr not only marks the good relations between the two countries, but also signals to the world community Iran’s intensions to build nothing but a nuclear power plant. 

“Iran and Russia are neighbors at least in terms of geography. This is something that cannot be changed,” the Iranian president said. “Earlier I had very productive talks with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin besides negotiations with President Medvedev. I hope we can extend our relations, especially taking into account current changes in the global economy and politics. Iran and Russia could offer joint solutions to current international problems.” 

 UNSC authorization of military action in Libya was a mistake 

Speaking of Iran’s stance on the “Arab Spring”, Ahmadinejad said that these events reflect problems that go far beyond the needs of the people of the region. 

“The entire world is not satisfied,” he said. “There are class distinctions, there are pressures, armed conflicts, and a large number of nations are being humiliated all the time. Today, justice and dignity are among the requirements of all human beings. Nations in our region and in North Africa have the same aspirations.”

Nations in the Middle East and North Africa have the ability to run their own countries and that NATO and the United Nations have made a mistake in “having meddled in Libya,” Ahmadinejad said. 

“NATO has interfered in Libya’s affairs. The (UN) Security Council has made a mistake,” he said. “Instead of sending bombs and planes to Libya they should have sent mediation groups, in order to (help them) prepare for free elections, under the auspices of the United Nations.”

Instead, Ahmadinejad said, the UNSC “hastily issued the resolution,” which has complicated the situation and led to numerous deaths among the civilian population.

 Iran among the best in terms of freedom  

In reply to a question about the human rights situation in Iran, Ahmadinejad said, “There are 35 kinds of democracy in the world. English democracy and German democracy are different,” he said. “Human rights are being violated in Europe. The same situation is in the United States, in Asia and Africa.”  

“We have an independent judiciary and we have transparent legal proceedings,” he stated. “We have mass media, we have free press. They criticize the government.” 

He also said that Iran is “among the best in the world in this respect.”

Asked about his plans after the end of his term in office in 2013, Ahmadinejad said, “I am a university professor and I have retained this post and qualification. I will continue to serve the nation anywhere, and in the university there will be no problem about that,” he said.

In conclusion, the Iranian president said, “We love and respect all human beings, disregarding the language, religion and the color of skin. We are very sad to see discrimination and poverty in the world. Hopefully, a day will come when the world is void of that. We are also sad to see the world suffer from conflicts and we hope peace will prevail. This is not going to happen unless we all join hands. We should come together to make a better tomorrow for our children.” 

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Last Updated on 14 August 2011 17:41