EXCLUSIVE: Iranian President Ducks Charges That Iran Is Arming Iraqi Insurgents


Ahmadinejad: You see the position of the government is important. We are opposed any kind of conflict in Iraq. This is not to our advantage. Anyone who gets killed in Iraq will make us sad no matter from which religion they are. Can American close their long borders? … No, we are opposed to any conflict and also the presence of foreign forces in Iraq, and that's why we are opposed to the Americans. We tell them leave the country and no other foreigners should be in Iraq, then you see that you have peace.

Sawyer: Will you prosecute anyone trying to bring Iranian weapons into Iraq?

Ahmadinejad: To say the U.S. administration and Bush are used to excusing others, the fact that you are showing us some piece of papers and you call them documents, they should not solve any problem. There should be a court to prove the case and to support the case.

The position of the government as I told you and the position of the Revolutionary Guard is also the same. We are opposed to any kind of conflict in Iraq. We do not want the presence of armed forces in Iraq, foreign armed forces in Iraq. We would like to have the strengthening of Iraq and the stability of the Iraq government because it is the legit. … But we think that the U.S. is following another policy trying to hide its defeats and failures and that's why is pointing its fingers to others. This is not a solution to the problem.

Sawyer: Does Iran deserve the right to send Iranians in ... Americans have said they had false identities that they were trying to shave their heads, trying to flush evidence ...

Ahmadinejad: I don't think that in the legal system in the U.S. you have this postulation that if you arrest someone you have automatically accused someone, only people who have committed something wrong can be taken to court. I think it was childish for the U.S. government to do something like that to arrest defenseless people, not allowing them to talk to anyone and to publish information in a biased way. I think that this is not a solution to the problem in Iraq; the solution is somewhere else.

Our diplomats are now in Iraq, what are the Americans doing there? These people are now in Iraq, what are the diplomats supposed to do, what is the task of the consulate, of the embassy? We have diplomatic relations with Iraq, we have extensive diplomatic relations, political, cultural ties, every year we have millions of people traveling across the border, so the question is why are the Americans doing there and why against international relations, they attack a consulate office and they will not solve the problem? The administration problems with management can be solved somewhere else.

Sawyer: So you may send more Iranians in. Are they training militia forces?

Ahmadinejad: I do not know what you mean by militia?

Sawyer: ... talking about Shiite forces.

Ahmadinejad: Let me ask you a question, those people who are killing the Shiites, are they organized by Americans?

Sawyer: Sunnis? Baathists?

Ahmadinejad: Anyone, anyone. Are the Baathists organized in Kuwait by Americans? Why do you say no? No, I am just asking you a question, who organizes them? Now based on international regulations, occupation forces are also in charge for trading security. Americans have failed and that's why they are accusing others and as I told you this will not solve the problems.

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