tv Charlie Rose PBS September 21, 2010 11:00am-12:00pm PST
>> rose: welcome to our program, tonight, the president of iran, mahmoud ahmadinejad. >> ( translated ): i am telling you that you must rest assured that these sanctions have been a blessing in disguise because it has forced us to double of rate of our productivity and have no doubt that inherent in our spirit the more enemies we have, the more united and hard we work. >> rose: mahmoud ahmadinejad for the hour. next.
he speaks to members of the press, he holds breakfast meetings and a lot of other meetings at the united nations. he address it is u.n. general assembly. his strip often accompanied by developing events. this year was the release of american hiker sarah shourd while two other hikers-- shane bauer and joshua fatale-- remain in an iranian jail accused of espionage. iran has been sanctioned four times by the security council for its failure to comply with the u.n. nuclear investigative agency the i.a.e.a. the obama administration, europe japan and even some arab nations have followed with some additional sanctions. some are very clear that a military strike should remain on the table if the sanctions does not work. one of those is former prime minister and middle east envoy tony blair. if sanks fail we have to make a military strike? it's inevitable where you are. >> you can't take that option off the table. >> but that's... you're saying that if sanctions fail-- and i think they're going to get the
weapon you have to bomb them. >> well... >> rose: well, what? isn't it a leader's responsibility to face up to the hard questions and tell you what hi would do? >> it is, it is. and i don't know the nature of the military action you would take but i agree. if in the end sanctions fail, diplomacy fails, i do not think it is acceptable for iran to have a nuclear weapon and i think you can't rule out military action and, indeed, it would come to that if sanctions and diplomacy can't work. >> rose: this is my fifth interview with president ahmadinejad. each one has been for an hour. one was in tehran and four has been here in new york. it's not an easy interview and sometimes the questions are more important than the answers. he's a controversial figure and has said even more controversial things and the events after the 2009 election have raised many questions. but the conversation about iran and its relationship to the country and its own people is very important. i spoke to him today at his hotel in new york. here's that conversation. tell me what you hope to accomplish and where you see
iran at this moment in terms of threatened sanctions, the government of russia, china, the united states, britain and even in your own country. they say it's no joke. mr. rafsanjani said-- former president-- no joke could hurt iran. iranian business people say this is no joke, it could hurt iran. >> ( translated ): did you take what mr. rafsanjani says seriously? >> rose: i should not take mr. rafsanjani seriously? >> ( translated ): but have you? did you? >> rose: yes. >> ( translated ): very good. which says that there's freedom in iran to say what they want. so, you know, there's no such
restrictions on what people can say in iran. i believe in responding to your question that those who resorted to the sanctions really felt that they had no other alternative, are unable to explore other alternatives and despite mr. rafsanjani's statement, the reality on the ground about sanctions does not change. naturally there are people who... with different opinions on the question of sanctions, but in the end of the day, the reality about our nation is that the it believes that sanctions is old-fashioned and a policy that belonged to decades ago. now, should there be any hesitation about my statement, i would suggest we wait a couple months and see if it has a stated impact that it was desired to have. if it's regarding us, i'm telling you that we don't see a problem with the sanctions. >> rose: you seem to be saying your economy is just fine, no problems, everything's great. we can handle sanctions, there's no protest, everything is well.
is that the picture of iran that i should have? >> ( translated ): from the day the sanctions were passed, our stability alone has shown a growth of 20% to 22%. what does that indicate? it points to an active economy. a dynamic economy. it points to the fact that there are investments in the country. so the stock market has grown. the union of stock markets has announced that iran's stock market is the most active in the world and the most successful. so if iran's economy is so bad,s where all this money and investment coming from? iran last year was sixth in terms of foreign direction. now, having said that, i won't argue that we don't have
problems, i'm saying we need to put things in perspective. everybody has problems. just look at this country. look at the united states with the numerous problems it has. but we feel we're still ahead of the game in iran. now, we're speaking of sanctions and i am telling you that you must rest assured that these sanctions have been a blessing in disguise because it has forced us to double the rate of our productivity and have no doubt that this is inherent in our spirit. the more enemies we feel we have the more united we become, the harder we work. >> rose: what do you think the purpose of the sanctions is? >> rose: well, i think this question should be asked by those who impose the sanctions. >> rose: but i'm asking you. i'll ask them at a later date. >> ( translated ): i think that those people do not really understand the world. sanctions and resolutions is one entity and what happens on the ground is a totally friend thing
at least nine people out of the 15 members, let's say, told us personally that they were pressured, that they do not personally believe in sanctions but that they were pressured. so what's the point? if you feel pressured then what you do is ineffective. i'm telling you a reality. you and i speaking here about sanctions is not going to ater that reality. the reality is what it is. >> rose: here's what could alter reality, that you were more forthcoming, you and your government was more forthcoming about the development of nuclear power and the development of the capacity to make nuclear weapons >> ( translated ): you see, don't you feel like people who make these kind of statements should offer some kind of evidence? now, in the judicial system in the united states, i'd like to
inquire that if you have a complaint, aren't you supposed to offer evidence? >> rose: the "eyeopener" says that they have... i.a.e.a. says that they have evidence and you have later disclosed things and secondly they say that you do not give them the access that's necessary in order to make and provide the evidence that you are or you are not. >> ( translated ): you see the inspectors of the i.a.e.a. would have access to our facilities within the framework of the law about it. and as you know, we have cameras installed in our nuclear facilities that also watch every single activity. now, if there are any requirements beyond what we are able to deliver and should deliver by international law,
that we are not required to do. when these statements and requirements are made, what becomes clear is that they are politicized. everybody knows that we do not think to have a bomb. if we are trying to find a bomb, they would be changing how they talk to us. now, pay attention. they would put their guns down, they would submit to the fact that iran has become a nuclear weapons country. the fact that they know we don't have it allows them to go about saying what they want. now, when saddam hussein attacked us during the iran/iraq war, did iran possess a nuclear bomb? if not, why did the united states back saddam hussein in attacking us? what had we done exactly? /'d like to ask this question now. this year in new york the review meeting happened a few months
ago at the united nations and at the same time the i.a.e.a. decided that the zionist regime must accept the n.p.t. and allow inspectors from the agency to go there. have you read of any news recently telling you that those inspectors have gone in while it possesses nuclear bombs? and who gave and equipped that with the nuclear bombs? we have clear evidence that the united states did it. that it equipped the zionist regime with nuclear bombs. a regime that does not fall under the purview of the i.a.e.a. at all. no supervisions have been done. how about the united states? has anybody supervised or inspected the nuclear arsenal here in the united states? remember that the i.a.e.a. statute says that when it speaks of disarmament, everyone must disarm. secondly everyone must enjoy
peaceful nuclear energy and third that proliferation must be stopped. now, what has the i.a.e.a. done in terms of disarmament? nothing? >> rose: so? >> ( translated ): the countries that have veto power have, in the meantime, done nothing, too, about it. it's quite natural. it's politicized from the very foundation of it. and now they don't like us and what we represent and they feel that the nuclear issues is one excuse to put pressure on us. but they're wrong and the time for that has passed. >> rose: okay, fair enough. who do you mean by the "zionist regime"? >> ( translated ): a regime that has occupied palestine and now forces its rule on that territory. >> rose: but why don't you just say aisrael? why don't you say the state of israel rather than the signist regime? >> ( translated ): we do not
recognize that entity. we consider it to be a zionist and racist regime that occupies, creates wars, terrorizes and destroys the homes of people and prevents people from accessing water, medicine, and food in their own home, attacks its neighboring countries and threatens everyone around. >> rose: so you would therefore hope that there is an agreement reached between the negotiators from the state of israel and the palestinians so that they can agree on borders and agree on all the issues that separate them so that those questions of... can be settled in this negotiation? >> ( translated ): do you feel that a solution will really be found? honestly, as an expert who's been watching this issue for a
long time. do you think there will be a solution? how many times have there been talks like this before? numerous times. how many peace signs have been put on the table so far for palestine? many. why have they failed? have you ever asked yourself. >> rose: why have they failed? we could go through it, but why do you think they faild? >> ( translated ): if we do not address the root cause of the problem it's as though a patient goes to the physician and is prescribed medicine without knowing what's wrong with the patient. now, the medicine makes it worse don't you want to sit down and talk? let's make it clear who they represent first. >> rose: palestinian authority represents the palestinian people. >> ( translated ): what do they want to talk about second. where there any elections there? when did the palestinian people announce their will?
when have they? only one place and that was in the formation of the hamas government, the government that came to power there the election of the people but was that sanctioned by the united states and european governments. the very groups that herald and claim to herald and speak of democracy. now, don't you think that unless the five million refugees return to their country that the palestinian issue will be resolved? as long as palestine's national right to sovereignty is not recognized, do you think that that solution will be resolved? it's not the case that iran opposes the negotiations. it's that we understand that these negotiations are not going to resolve the issues. we've said that many times. do you know what the formation of a jewish state means? >> rose: what? >> ( translated ): yes, we've had 60 years of experience about it. a jewish state means a racist
regime. it means at least another million displaced people and refugees. it means another war, probably. have no doubt. a million jon jewish people... >> rose: let me.... >> ( translated ): living outside the jewish state. creating a jewish state means that a new group of refugees will have to leave. at least a million and a half of them, i would argue. >> rose: when i talked to mr. abbas, the head of the palestinian authority, he said that the one impediment, one of the impediments to create an agreement with israel was the state of iran and your activities stood in the way of them reaching an agreement. >> ( translated ): what impediment? what impediment? is our statement an impediment? are we not allowed to speak our mind? has the freedom of speech not been granted to us? we'd like to say what we think! we like to argue and debate about it. >> rose: i am so happy you
raised that question because i want to come back to your own state. what's the status of mr. mousavi and mr. car ruby today? >> allow me to say one additional sentence about the previous discussion we had. that are resembles the argument made in iraq or afghanistan by the invaders. whenever they face defeat they blame it on iran and not once did they step back and think, oh, have we done something wrong ourselves? reear telling them what they've done wrong. >> rose: the united states has not blamed iraq... has not blamed iran for afghanistan or iraq. >> ( translated ): numerous times in numerous statements. >> rose: they have said some forces within iran have supplied ammunition and weaponss to some forces in iraq, but they have
not blamed iran for afghanistan. in fact, you have frequently said to me that the taliban was your enemy! >> true, but as far as the first part of your statement is concerned, we need to talk about this. i have heard interviews numerous times saying certain preventing progress and iran has led to the defeat in afghanistan and iraq. now, i don't want to speak of the areas of discord now, but let's speak on what we agree on. >> rose: let me just speak to the question of dissent in iran. are that there activities that mr. karoubi and mr. mousavi are restrictd? >> i think there's two issues that i need to raise here. and clarify.
i think that in iran there's a lot of freedom. a very high level that i'm speaking of, in fact. the gentlemen you speak of were candidates in the last election and they did not receive the sufficient votes. logically when you don't receive enough votes you have to at least respect those who were voted into office and that's what democracy means. they did not show respect to the votes cast by the majority of the people and they created problems for themselves. >> rose: what problems? >> they were free to do it even so. >> rose: what problems did they create for themselves? >> ( translated ): well, if you invite people to rise, to clash, to create conflict, what does that mean? to insinuate so that people start giving policemen, do you
think that's the right thing to do? policemen were killed. but if you encourage that... >> rose: it's also said protestors were tortured and killed in prison. >> ( translated ): allow me. allow me. it is... well, yes. when you encourage people to do illegal acts, to clash with the plit in the united states if somebody clashes with the police and kills them, what would be done? would that will person be encouraged to go on doing what they need? >> rose:, no i mean, that's a fair point. no, they would not be encouraged to do that. no one is encouraged to kill policemen. no one is encouraged and, if, in fact, there is a.... >> ( translated ): and that's exactly what happened in iran. but unfortunately, western media and some authorities in the united states started hooraying them and encouraging what was happening and showed support. now, that, too, has passed, but still they were free to go on.
what they were doing and they have been free. they are still living their daily lives and here and there there might be a problem and when it does happen the judiciary will take place, they can go to the judiciary and ask judges to take care of the cases. >> rose: so you were saying that mr. mousavi.... >> ( translated ): and remember the judiciary and the judge is independent of me. >> ( translated ):... >> rose: fair enough. but you are saying mr. mousavi and mr. karoubi are not being subject to more investigations. they can do whatever they want to express their ideas? >> ( translated ): you added one wordo what i said, actually. i do not say whether there was any investigation done or not. that relates to the judiciary and the judge. if there is a complaint that is failed, it goes to the judicial system and that's the system that has to respond to it.
this has nothing to do with the political environment of the country now. it's my duty to go before the judge and respond. because according to the constitution, all people are equal before the law and nobody has rights more than others but the two points i'd like to raise here are that first i am surprised that when american officials who claim to believe in democracy and attack iraq in the name of democrat ca tiesing the place and hundreds of people are killed there as a result, when they speak of democracy are they speaking of the will of a majority or minority? it seems to me democracy for these people means their own interests. whenever their interests serve them, they'll back the minority if they want to. and they call it a democracy. if not, they'll call it undemocratic. in iran, most people actually voted in the elections and chose who they wanted as the president
and so if you claim to be democratic, you have to back the majority. this is the one issue that i wanted to raise here with you. the second point i'd like to make is that do you feel when you restrict things, things here in the united states, can it be acceptable here but not elsewhere? say if something were to happen here in the united states and be just fine but were to happen in other country but not be just fine, the same thing, do you think that's right? because that speaks of an embedded discrimination of mentality that we want to pose that there have been people serving in the white house maybe 50 years or so or even more recently but were fired just because of speaking their point of view or their opinion. now, if this happened in our country, oh, my god! people would just go on making so much fuss over it.
now, i'd like to give you another example. just two nights ago we had an interview with one of your colleagues. i had heard previously this ms. clinton had made a statement that american officials had made some statement saying that a lady in iran is about to be executed. >> rose: right. >> ( translated ): and they united and rallied behind a woman who is about to be executed in iran. so... >> rose: what was her name? what was her name? >> a lady. >> rose: what's her name is >> a lady. >> rose: what's her name? >> ( translated ): you have this in your questions so let's not go further. ms. mohammedi. >> rose: okay. >> ( translated ): i know it's there in your list of questions to ask. now what is the case she has? she's been accused of being an
accomplice to the murder of her husband. the court is taking care of the case. the final sentence has not been issued. the fine verdict is not yet out. it's still in process. now, there's so much noise around the world, the rallies, oh, my god. a woman is about to be executed in iran. but allow me, allow me. now, as we speak ang american lady called ms. theresa lewis in virginia has... has been in prison seven years and will be executed in three days on charges of killing her husband. now the physician has said that she has psychological problems but the judge disagrees. >> rose: you have done your research well. but let me say with you, because this is even more interesting
than the fact that this woman... you are opposed to stoning, are you not? just as a matter of humanity and... as a matter of humanity, you're opposed to stoning anybody. >> ( translated ): as far as ms. mohammedi is concerned, there was no sentencing by stoning. she was an accomplice to the murder of her husband and as such she has a case. now someone in germany claims that she's about to be stoned. that was fundamentally untrue. ow judiciary, too, has denied that it's that. however, the u.s. propaganda just won't let go. so i'd like to ask that you pass the name of ms. theresa lewis and ms. mohammedi and google
both names or whatever search engine there is and see how much information you get about ms. mohammedi versus the others. now, if you're a human being everywhere... i want to tell you something else. there's 53 american women on death row. basically i am against any form of murder, killing, execution. this is my personal view of the issue. >> rose: so therefore you would not like to see ms. ... you would not like to see her executed and you would not like to see her stoned to death for sure. >> ( translated ): anyone, i do not like to see anyone. >> rose: so the easy answer to my question would have been request t president of iran is opposed to stoning. yes? yes? >> ( translated ): you're speaking for me, too. that's really interesting. you're speaking for me, huh?
i am just speaking principally. but let me just say here... >> rose: principally you do oppose it. >> ( translated ): allow me. allow me. i disagree that people should be injected with poison. >> rose: fair enough. >> ( translated ): or electrocuted. >> rose: fair enough. how about hanging? how about hanging? >> ( translated ): anything! we don't like to see these things happen. i don't even want to see an ant killed let alone human being. but you have your laws and these things you have and there are 53 women on death row, i'll give you the list, 53 women, americans, on death row. >> rose: we understand that. >> rose: death is death. whether we've shot... you know, sometimes they cut the head with a... you know... they cut off the head, basically, with a big sword. with a sword.
and places that are very good friends with the government of the united states, by the way, but you don't hear any of this. if you google them, you'll hear nothing about these cases. and ms. clinton doesn't even say anything about it. she says in front of the cameraman.... >> rose: are you talk about islamic states? >> ( translated ): would you like me to tell you one thing that happened in iraq? the video is out there, i can give it to you. american officials in iraq standing with guns and there's a terrorist... nothing, ms. clinton doesn't say anything about it. >> rose: speaking of mrs. clinton, i'm going to come back to human rights but i have to do this because you talk much longer than i do. here is what the secretary of state said she didn't say in
this, she warned of growing power of the military. that elected officials-- that would be you-- turning to security forces to enforce the authority. -the-said secretary of state of the united states "i can only theme there will be some effort inside iran by responsible civil and religious leaders to take hold of the apparatus of the state." >> ( translated ): so is she defending those who oppose the government? is that the right thing to do? what kind of responsibility that at the international level to support the opponents of ill a legal government that came to power through the vote of the people? that's pretty bad. can you run the world like that? i mean, as a friend. we're friends now. really, as a friend, can you
really expect to run the world properly with that kind of mentality? there is an flexion a country and if 5% of the people go to vote, the highest level of participation in terms of democracy in elections and the government receives an absolute majority and ms. clinton is supporting those who oppose the government? why? what interest does that bring to the united states? is ms. clinton really thinking what she says is in the united states of the united states? i want to tell you as a friend, just inform you as a friend these things do not serve the interest of the united states. it mar it is interest of the united states and the world because it shows the irrational side of the united states that seems to be interventionist, that seems to oppose democracy. now you know the polls in the middle east. you know the polls in the middle east and what they say. the last exact poll done by american university which you'll find on its site has told two
questions... name two dangerous countries in the world. 88% said the zionist regime first, second, the government of the united states 77%. why is that the case? because of all these interventions. why didn't they intervene in other people's affairs? >> rose: on the level of the conversation that you've just suggested, may i just say the following? in anticipation of coming to see you, which i said the fifth interview that we have done, the thing that people most wanted me to talk about was human rights violations. i am telling you that there is a strong feeling your government and the revolutionary guard are violating human rights in an increased way. >> ( translated ): our status in the world is rising.
the status of the world does not belong to the united states government alone, mr. rose. you see, we can choose to close and shut our eyes to reality and perceive reality the way we'd like to and keep speaking about it and announcing it. the reality on the ground doesn't change because the reality... a fact is a fact and the fact is that iran enjoys a very high status in the world. both in the region that it resides in as well as in the world. it has enjoy it had highest level of status in recent years. we want to unknot the problems that exist so we can arrive at a mutual solution here. what i am saying here is that is it right of ms. clinton to support those who oppose the iranian government? what does it serve? i mean, we are speaking of a government that is legal. now, she also seems to use fabricated information that others provide her.
i wonder who those are. remember that iran is a country of 75 million civilized people. a nation with a deep history. you think that that sort of a nation can possibly accept dictatorships from abroad imposed on it? her statements are broadcast on iranian television, the iranian people start disliking her. they become unhappy over what the united states represent. they react, they participate in demonstrations and protests against the american government. they, too, represent the iranian people. is and the i.r.g.c. belongs to the people. the army belongs... it's part and parcel of our country. they are the children of our country. they belong to the country. so is ms. clinton trying to say that 75 million people are all military people, they're all
members of the i.r.g.s.? i mean, what sort of analysis does this say? now she made a claim but she couldn't prove it. now she's making a new claim. this doesn't change anything about us, it's not like it harms us more or less. >> rose: but.... >> ( translated ): allow me to just say one more sentence. i am really meaning this as a friend. i mean it, if i wanted to speak as an enemy i would have encouraged her to keep on doing what she is. i would have said "good job, keep on going." because i know that does not serve the united states. but i know that this is harming your status in the world. if i wanted to be insincere with you i should have said "she's right, tell her to go on. tell her to go on, please. wow, what she said was so important." >> rose: okay, so.... >> ( translated ): but, please, these are elementary statements. we're quite surprised. she's a university educated woman. how can she possibly speak without having enough
information? >> rose: what stands in the way, in your judgmenttor a better relationship between iran and the united states? between president obama and president ahmadinejad? how do you make it better? that's the question. >> ( translated ): if you recall last year we talked about this subject. >> rose: we did, indeed, yes. and it's a year later. >> ( translated ): do you remember when mr. obama was voted into office i sent him a message: i congratulated him. okay? what should he have done logically? he should have at least responded. >> rose: but there's the question did he respond to.... >> ( translated ): he did not respond. >> rose: did he respond to anyone, though? did he respond to the supreme leader of iran, mr. ayatollah homeny? did he? comeny? >> ( translated ): come on. i come into the room and i say
hello to you you can turn arnold and say hello to the other person next to me. >> rose: i hear you, point well taken. >> ( translated ): is that right? >> rose: the point's well taken. what do you want him to say to you. >> ( translated ): the supreme leader is a dear person to us. >> rose: what do you want him to say to you today? >> ( translated ): supreme leader is dear to us. i am not bothered he responded to the supreme leader. but what i am saying is he did not give a response to my message. >> rose: what would you have liked for him to have said, number one, and what would you like for him to say today? today? >> ( translated ): you see, what we saw happen during the presidential elections in the united states was that the differences between mr. obama and ms. clinton was primarily over foreign policy.
that's what we could see about it. ms. clinton was making a different foreign policy pronouncement than mr. obama which seemed to contradict one another. so isn't it strange that ms. clinton has become the secretary of state of mr. obama? and of us even more so to expect things to improve given that? so i think there's a problem here. the iranians always want to talk do you remember i said at the u.n. general assembly i'm prepared to speak with mr. obama. i announced it but he didn't respond. this year, too, i said the same thing. i said i would be prepared to meet mr. obama and the general assembly. this is a great opportunity after 30 years of conflict between the two countries of clashes in this agreement to talk. that's a huge breakthrough. i've said many times that the american policy in afghanistan is wrong. it doesn't serve you and we're even willing to help you with it
is. there any more help... and we want to do it on a pro bono basis, by the way. we don't want anything any n return. we don't want remuneration, political status, we don't want anything in return. >> rose: i hear you, but there is enormous concern today-- and i'm telling you, it's not just in the united states and you know this, in a recent interview with tony blair, the former prime minister of britain-- you talk to other arab leaders, they're concerned about nuclear intentions. they're concerned about how do you take this conflict and make it better? give us a road map. give us a road map. >> ( translated ):. >> ( translated ): mr. rose, the agreement was that we would not get angry here. >> rose: i'm not. >> ( translated ): you got angry here! >> ( translated ): we're just having a conversation here. if we want to unearth the case and go dig into history, i think... >> rose: i know, i want to look forward. >> ( translated ): i think it's
to america's benefit even more than iran's. the more we expand the issues, the worse the u.s. problems are neither hezbollah nor hamas have left their own territory to go somewhere else. >> rose: fair enough.... >> ( translated ): they're active their owner to tirs. in their own homeland. >> rose: those are the things that are part of the issue. >> ( translated ): gaza... allow me. i mean, when we talk of subjects it's fine, we can do it, i'm not saying it's not open in these cases but at the same time at least we have to make an effort to clarify things. hamas and hezbollah are in their own territories. mr. tony blair should be put on trial and on top of that he thinks he should have... take a statement? of course he wants to sew the seeds of discourse to sell more arms. mr. tony blair held mr. bush's hand and said a lie that there
are weapons of mass destruction in iraq and allowed the united states to enter into a dead look to lead to the death of both american troops as well as the iraqi people and the... basically created instability in the region. on top of that. mr. blair's statements should now be considered as a real statement and taken seriously? this is what we object to. we think that those who go to iraq and create a war that leads to the death and casualty of over one million people, where are they? if they are put on trial once, nobody would dare do these mistakes again. >> rose: okay. i want to.... >> ( translated ): allow me. allow me. allow me. last year i told you something, i'd like to repeat it. i'd like to repeat it every five years that i've seen you, i think. you see, in iraq we see a country that's friends with iran.
our people are friends. >> rose: friends with the united states as well. >> ( translated ): we can find out if they are friends with the united states. >> rose: they are friends with the united states! >> ( translated ): right now they don't like to be friends with the united states and we have to ask ourselves why. >> rose: the iraqis, you're saying? >> ( translated ): the region. i'm speaking of the people of iraq. can you just bear with me, please? people in iran and iraq marry each other. many iranians were born in iraq. many iraqis were born in iran. every year five million people cross the borders between the two countries. in security in iraq, therefore, who do you think it would impact first and foremost. if it had security, who do you think it would impact first? now on top of that, is it the american troops or the iranian troops that are in the borders of iraq? is it us stationing our troops along the borders or is it the united states that has troops on
both sides of our borders? on the east and west. i mean, these equations are fundamentally wrong and i think that if we can sincerely sit down and talk, these can all be talked about. mr. obama could come here, i'd gladly sit down with him and talk, we can find some solutions. i don't want to go back to the past. i look to the future. and i think that there's this problem that we need to resolve and we have to address the root cause of the problem. what is this? is the problem... what is the problem in afghanistan. where does it come from. why is it resolved? >> rose: and afghanistan is not the root problem of the conflict between the united states and iran. you know that. it's not. it's not the root problem. >> ( translated ): then what is the root cause of the conflict between iran and the united states? what is our problem then? can you tell me? what is our problem? what is our problem?
you tell me. >> rose: i'll tell you. >> ( translated ): did we sanction the united states? did we cut our ties with the united states? did we assure resolutions against the united states? what have we done here? >> rose: (laughs) >> ( translated ): we haven't done anything. >> ( translated ):. >> rose: the united states believes you want to acquire nuclear weapons. that's one. that's a problem. that's a problem. they believe that you stand in the way of israelis and palestinians coming to an agreement. they believe you support certain activities by hamas and hezbollah in terms of financing and other things. how do you step forward from those things? it's not afghanistan and you know it's not afghanistan. >> you see, the answers are clear. when there's a claim made by the u.s. government it is too well to accept it. but when mr. bush killing a
million people in iraq does anybody talk about human rights violation there is? i mean, there seems to be a major contradiction here in a selective memory that i'm speaking of here and when it becomes selective, it becomes this... not honest. and when it's dishonest it cannot be accepted. so we have to speak of the mistakes that have been made and then we'll move forward 30. years ago around this same time saddam attacked us back there there was no speak of hamas and hezbollah, they didn't exist and there was no such talk of a nuke beer bomb and why did the u.s. government choose saddam over us choose to support saddam against us? what did we do? and it went full force behind saddam and the war against us. if yo go to china and japan or africa or south america and ask kids in elementary school what
the problem between iran and the united states is, is it the nuclear bomb that perhaps iran wants to build? and you know over 80% would say no, it's a game, come on, it's a game. the united states is against iran, iran was under its supervision, under its control and now it's a free country and the americans don't want to see that. >> rose: no, stop, stop. >> ( translated ): they talk about human rights, the next day they talk about nuclear issues. that's the bottom line. >> ( translated ): but when i read from people who said allow demonstrations guarantee their safety, that's somebody you respect, yes. you do. i read from people like tabacoli who says that some of the economic numbers are lies. these are iranians. and so i'm coming here trying to
understand iran. and that's part of what i read. >> ( translated ): so you're quoting mr. tabacoli to say what? he's the member of the parliament, he has every right to speak his mind. don't members of congress have the right to speak their find the united states? i'm sure they probably do. some are against something and some are not. it's not a problem here. i don't read many of the statements they make, in fact, i tell you. i don't read them because in iran everybody has an opinion. and everybody's free to express their opinions. there's so many newspapers representing 70 million opinions at a time. doesn't matter. everybody should be respected, of course, but what they say is their opinion and it's not evidence. let me tell you one thing and you are connected with the american authorities so you should relate it to them.
if they think... >> rose: i'm not connected to them. >> ( translated ): just remind them. just remind them. i'm not saying... just remind them. i'm not saying connected. you have access to them. we don't. our reporters don't have access to perhaps you should convey them. you know, they don't let our reporters sit down with them as we allow your reporters to come and sit down with us. just because you have a lot of freedom here, they don't allow them to. come on. we know what we're talking about. >> rose: i agree with. you they should sit down with your reporters. >> ( translated ): very good. very good. that's good. i want to say as a friend if you can help them here this any way you are able to, as long as they resort to these methods, they're not going to succeed with us. they have to start respecting the iranian people, their system of government, their legal system. they don't know how to respect. the iranian people are big
nations. they're in light... enlightened people. they know what to choose. they don't need ms. clinton to represent them. the people of iran have paid a hefty price for freedom, democracy, progress and they don't need ms. clinton's advice on it. the more advice she gives it serves me, i'm telling you. the more she gets into this, i imagine as the popularity rises in iran and the world it doesn't benefit her but me. if she wants to resolve her problem with the countries of the region in the middle east and with iran then she has to change her method. she has to respect the nations in the region nay understand. they have more mind of their own. they have the ability to make
choices. nobody needs to pick choices for them. fine she can talk, adon't mind. everybody does. i have a lot of patience for it. in iran i can tell you in the newspaper there is's so many opponents addressing their disagreement the government. across the middle east you won't find single government like iran that is always attacked and criticized as much as it is inside iran. i have a lot of patience, i read all through them i can tell you what she has chosen as a method is not going to resolve the problem. if she wants to resolve the problem she has to respect us. we've said, okay, let's have talks new in the five plus one but really talk under equal conditions. as equal so we can arrive at an agreement. but not for them to issue a
resolution first and accept whatever we tell you. that's not called a negotiation by the way. if you have a referendum in iran even a percent of a people would not be willing to sit down with ms. clinton and have a talk with her under these conditions. but if it were equal, if it was respect there, i've said many times we've prepared to sit down and talk. we're prepared to talk. unfortunately u.s. administrations do not take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to them. i don't understand why. i fail to understand why. the opportunities that iran provided america has been numerous. they have to have at some point take advantage of in the iran right now if a strong government is formed, it will serve everyone. the united states, the iran, and the entire region. they shouldn't prevent formation of a strong government. they have to assist in it. at least they can say we went to iraq with all the death tolls,
with all the destructions and at the end of the day we have a strong government to show. this serves their interest but they don't, they just don't. let iraq have a popular government that serves you. it allows the u.s. government to show the world that it went to iraq for a reason because it created a strong government that is able to help with the development of iraq. it will change your image in the world the very iraqi officials who talk with your officials leave the room and say we feel pressured by then. we feel they're imposing on us. they don't tell them in their face because they are coerce in their measures. they tell their people oh, we feel pressured by the americans. that doesn't really serve america. they have to improve their ways
and things will result much faster than you think. >> rose: on the question of the human rights questions. if i gave you a list of people that people have asked me about would you have someone look into it? >> certainly. yes, why not? i represent our people. if anybody violates somebody's right, i will basically make sure they know. just two months ago a reporter in the judicial process basically had a right that was violated. the reporter wrote a letter to me and i examined the letter and i realized the reporter was right and so i wrote a letter and reminded the judiciary of the mistake because it's my constitutional right and prerogative and i told them they have to revise the law that violates the reporters' right.
you see, the way we look at our system of government is different than perhaps the united states. we feel the government must at the end of the day serve the people sustain itself. we are not a capitalist system. i am not the c.e.o. of a company to serve that company. i've never had a company. i've never been share holder in any company or a stakeholder. so what is my role? that of a serveman. so it's a kind of a different mentality from a capitalist system. we have to understand the differences in our systems of governance and then to come to an agreement with one another. resolve problems. >> rose: that's a perfect place to end this conversation. i thank you for taking time. we went way over but i thank you very much and you have invited me to come to tehran, yes? >> ( translated ): yes! any time you'd like to come to
tehran. most american reporters are afraid to come to tehran and they can meet with me as well. i hope this opportunity will be given to iranian reporters. >> rose: thank you very much, a pleasure. a conversation with mahmoud ahmadinejad, the president of iran from his hotel near the united nations where he will speak at the general assembly. thank you for joining us. see you next time.