Iranian Leader Opens Up

Ahmadinejad Speaks Candidly With <b>Mike Wallace</b> About Israel, Nukes, Bush


Ahmadinejad told Wallace the United Nations Security Council has not passed an effective ceasefire resolution because the Security Council is in America's pocket.

"Tell, the reason is, that the United Nations Security Council is there to safeguard the interests of the British and the Americans. They are not there to provide security. It's very clear," the president said.

"The UNSC, the United Nations Security Council, is there to protect the interests of the United States and the British. That's what you say?" Wallace asked.

"It has been created to help with peace and justice. But we see that it is not responding to atrocities. If we search for the root causes we see the hand of the British and the Americans," Ahmadinejad said. "People, innocent people are being killed. … And houses are being destroyed. Where is the UNSC? Also, the draft resolution which has been circulated only serves the interests of one party. And it is not just."

And, he told Wallace the Security Council is also doing America's bidding by trying to prevent Iran from developing nuclear energy. The Security Council is demanding that Iran stop all uranium enrichment by the end of this month, which Iran is refusing to do.

"But if Mr. Bush thinks that he can stop our progress, I have to say that he will be unable to do that," Ahmadinejad said.

Asked to elaborate, the president said: "We want to have access to nuclear technology. We want to produce fuel. Do you not think that the most important issue of the world of tomorrow that is will be energy?

"We think that Mr. Bush's team and the parties that support him want to monopolize energy resources in the world. Because once they have that they can impose their opinions, points of view, policies on other nations and, of course, line their own pockets."

"President Bush said - vowed - he will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. You believe it?" Wallace asked.

"Basically we are not looking for - working for the bomb," the president said. "The problem that President Bush has is in his mind he wants to solve everything with bombs. The time of the bomb is in the past. It's behind us. Today is the era of thoughts, dialogue and cultural exchanges."

But "dialogue and cultural exchanges" don't sound like his policy toward Israel.

"Israel, you have said time and again, Israel must be wiped off the map. Please explain why. And what is Iran doing about that?" Wallace asked.

"Well, allow me to finish with the nuclear dossier first," Ahmadinejad said.

"No, you finished with that. You finished with that. Please," Wallace continued.

"No, it's not finished, sir. It's not finished. We are just beginning," Ahmadinejad said.

"OK, oh!" Wallace replied with a chuckle. "That's what I was afraid of. But go."

"Well, the Americans are overly sensitive. And, of course, the American government. I don't know why they're opposed to Iranian progress," the president said.

Asked if he really believed that the United States is against Iranian progress and development, Ahmadinejad said, "That is true. That is what I am saying."

"You know that's not so," Wallace replied.

President Ahmadinejad then offered an explanation for his theory.

"Before the revolution, the German, French, American government and the Canadian government had signed contracts with us to produce nuclear fuel inside Iran. But immediately after the establishment of the Islamic Republic, their opposition started," he said. "Right now, they are opposed to our nuclear technology. Now why is that?"