Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that while Iran is a nuclear state, it has no intention of attacking Israel, according to comments he made on the eve of the 12th Islamic Summit Conference.
Haaretz has obtained translations of part of his recent interview with Egypt’s Al-Ahram newspaper, in which Ahmadinejad spoke at length about recent developments in Iran and its relations with the rest of the world.
Ahmadinejad said that the rest of the world must come to terms with Iran as a modernized, nuclear country. “They want Iran to go back to what it was in the past, but they won’t succeed. They assume we’ll give in to pressure; such thoughts are misguided. We’re already an industrial and nuclear country, a country that has conquered space.”
“For years we have been thinking about sending a human being into space, and we will do that, with Allah’s help. We must ensure development and growth and bring them to pass, and the world must acknowledge our progress,” he continued.
The president went on to insist that the Iranian nuclear program was purely defensive, and noted that while it would be easy for Israel to strike Iranian nuclear facilities, Iran possess notable defensive and retaliatory capabilities.
He claimed that Zionists were trying to gain control of the centers of power in the world, in order to advance their agenda. “They want to attack Iran, but we’re not preparing any attack against them because the purpose of our program is defense.”
Ahmadinejad additionally went on to decry what he called massacres conducted by Israeli forces.
“For us, supporting the Palestinian people is a matter of human importance in every sense. The Palestinians must receive their rights, and the Zionists are moving closer and closer toward the edge.”