The following are excerpts from an interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which aired on the Iranian News Channel (IRINN) on July 23, 2006.
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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "In my opinion, Lebanon is the scene of an historic test, which will determine the future of humanity. Everyone must be put to the test. Everyone. It is inconceivable for anyone who calls himself a Muslim and who heads an Islamic state to maintain relations under the table with the regime that occupied Jerusalem. He cannot take pleasure in the [Israeli] killing of Muslims yet present himself as a Muslim. This is inconceivable, and must be exposed. Allah willing, it will. You will see.
"This is a mirror that will reveal everyone's true essence. This is not one of those ordinary tests. Not at all. It will expose everything. A bunch of people with no honor rule some countries in the region. People are being killed before their eyes, while they play games, giving compliments to one another. They think they can let time go by until this issue is forgotten, and then return to the scene. No, they are mistaken.
"In this case, they must make their position clear. Of course, some of them have taken positive positions, but others have buried their heads in the sand. Their true character will be exposed in this scene. For them, this is 'the Day that all things secret will be tested.' They will reach this day. The hypocrisy must be exposed."
"England was the founder of this sinister regime. It is an accomplice to all its crimes. America, which supports it now, is an accomplice to all its crimes. They are the ones who started this fire. They are the ones who support [Israel], and encourage it to strike at the people in such a manner. They say: 'They took two of our soldiers.' Fine, but you took 5,000 of theirs. Sit together and have a prisoner exchange. But you are destroying the life of an entire people, and harming innocent people - all for two soldiers? Do you value human life at all?
"They even lie to those wretched people whom they have collected from around the world and brought to the occupied lands. In fact, their leaders are having a good time around the world. After all, they are not in the battlefield. They are outside the scene. They have collected a bunch of people and put them there to serve as their shields, so they can realize their colonialist, domineering goals."