The following excerpts are from an interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on May 14, 2010. The translation is from the Arabic voiceover.
Interviewer: Do you rule out the possibility of a war between Iran and the US in the future?
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: This is completely out of the question. Who would want to wage war against Iran? No country would do that, and there is no evidence of any war between us. We consider friendship and dialogue to be the best way. Today, nobody would be pleased if a war broke out, and nobody is capable of opening fire on Iran, or even dares to do so. Who wants to fight Iran?
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: We do not take the Zionist entity into account. Israel is nothing compared to the greatness of Iran. War is not just bombing and air raids. War means war. Do the Zionists really have the capability to wage war against Iran? They are incapable of even defending themselves. The West and the Americans came and occupied Iraq and Afghanistan for the sake of one thing – to protect the Zionist entity.
Interviewer: There is concern, not only in the US and the West, but also among some Arab governments in the Middle East, with regard to Iran’s policy in the region. What do you have to say to the governments of Saudi Arabia, of Egypt, of Morocco, and of various other countries?
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: We should consider whether the concern of these Arab states is domestic or foreign. It is very clear that they are facing external pressure, but we are brothers. What problem could we possibly cause them? When Egypt develops – is this detrimental to us? Naturally, we will be happy to see Egypt make progress – or any other Arab country. We will really be happy to see them make progress and grow stronger. It is very clear that the pressure being exerted on Iran is intended to ensure the success of the Zionist entity. The Zionist entity has reached a dead end.
If Obama repeats the conduct of Mr. Bush – what has changed? First, Obama’s term in office will come to an end. Second, America’s historic opportunity to change its behavior will be lost. What do they want to do? Do they really want to follow Bush’s path? After all, Bush has been defeated. Mr. Obama came to change these circumstances. If Mr. Obama follows in Bush’s footsteps, America will come to an end. We do not want this to happen, but the choice is theirs.