Iranian Leader Opens Up

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


The United States is convinced that nuclear energy is just a smokescreen and that what Iran really wants is the bomb. Then Wallace tried to get the president back to his most inflammatory statement regarding Israel.

"You are very good at filibustering," Wallace remarked. "You still have not answered the question. You still have not answered the question. Israel must be wiped off the map. Why?"

"Well, don't be hasty sir," the president said. "I'm going to get to that. I think that the Israeli government is a fabricated government."

"Fabricated" following the Holocaust, which he's said may also have been fabricated.

Last December, Ahmadinejad said the Europeans had created a myth of the Holocaust.

"What I did say was, if this is a reality, if this is real, where did it take place?" Ahmadinejad replied.

"In Germany," Wallace said.

"Who - who caused this in Europe?" Ahmadinejad asked.

"In Europe. If I may … so …what you're suggesting - one moment - what you're suggesting then, that Israel should be over in Germany because that's where the holocaust took place?" Wallace asked.

"I'm not saying that, mind you," the president replied.

But he has said Israel could be moved to Europe, or even to the United States but it shouldn't be in Palestine.

"Well, if an atrocity was committed in Germany or Europe for that matter, why should the Palestinians answer for this?" the president asked. "They had no role to play in this. Why on the pretext of the Holocaust they have occupied Palestine? Millions of people have been made refugees. Thousands of people to-date have been killed, sir. Thousands of people have been put in prison. Well, at the very moment, a great war is raging because of that."

"Look if you could - if you could keep your answers concise. Concise. I beg you. We'll get more questions in," Wallace requested.

"Well, one of your questions required - all of your questions require a book-long answer. If you want me to just finish the interview, please tell me and we can wrap up right now," the president said.

"No, no, no, no, no," Wallace said.

"Do you, perhaps want me to say what you want me to say?" Ahmadinejad said to Wallace.

"No, no," Wallace insisted.

"If that is the case, then I ask you to please be patient," the president replied. "Maybe these days you don't have a lot of patience to spare. Maybe these are words that you don't like to hear, Mr. Wallace."

"Why? What? What words do I not like to hear?" Wallace asked.

"Because I think that you're getting angry," Ahmadinejad said.

"I couldn't be happier for the privilege of sitting down with the president of Iran," Wallace said.

And with that established, Wallace moved on to the topic of Iraq.