Ahmadinejad: Iran Not Walking Toward War

Iranian Leader Tells <b>Scott Pelley</b> His Country Does Not Need Nuclear Weapons

But the issue that threatens war between Iran and the U.S. is Iran's determination to keep enriching uranium, even though the United Nations Security Council demands that it stop. Ahmadinejad claims Iran only wants nuclear energy but the Bush administration says he's pursuing a bomb. The International Atomic Energy Agency -- the IAEA -- is trying to resolve the dispute.

In the past, Ahmadinejad has said Iran has 3,000 centrifuges in a line producing highly-enriched uranium. Does Iran have more now?

"No. Our plan and program is very transparent. We are under the supervision of the Agency. Everything is on the table," Ahmadinejad said. "We have nothing to hide."

"It's been hidden for more than 15 years. You've been operating a secret nuclear program. It's nothing-if it's not secret," Pelley remarked.

"Who is saying that?" the president asked.

"Well, the IAEA. You've, in fact, agreed with the IAEA to confess what you've done in secret over the past years. It is not transparent, sir," Pelley pointed out.

"The Agency is supposed to supervise and ask questions and we respond," Ahmadinejad said. "And our activities are very peaceful."

"For the sake of clarity, because there is so much concern in the world about this next question, please give me the most direct answer you can. Is it your goal to build a nuclear bomb?" Pelley asked.

"What are you driving at?" the president replied.

"Simply that, sir. Is it the goal of your government, the goal of this nation to build a nuclear weapon?" Pelley asked.

"What do you think that the nuclear technology is only limited in a bomb? You can only build a bomb with that?" Ahmadinejad said.

"I appreciate the differences, sir," Pelley said. "But the question is limited to the bomb."

"Well, you have to appreciate we don't need a nuclear bomb. We don't need that. What needs do we have for a bomb?" the president replied.

"May I take that as a 'No,' sir?" Pelley asked.

"It is a firm 'No.' I'm going to be much firmer now, in political relations right now, the nuclear bomb is of no use; if it was useful it would have prevented the downfall of the Soviet Union; if it was useful it would resolved the problem the Americans have in Iraq," Ahmadinejad said. "The time of the bomb is passed."

"At the moment, our two countries may very well be walking down the road to war. How do you convince President Bush, how do you convince other nations in the West…," Pelley said.

"What two parties are walking towards war?" the president asked.

"Iran, the United States, Western countries," Pelley said.

"Well, it's wrong to think that Iran and the U.S. are walking towards war. Who says so? Why should we go to war?" Ahmadinejad asked. "There is no war in the offing. Again, this is psychological warfare if you have difference of opinion you can use logic to resolve your differences."