‘We Are Neither Obstinate nor Gullible’
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke with SPIEGEL about what he expects from US President Barack Obama, why America’s new Afghanistan strategy is wrong and why Iran should have a spot on the UN Security Council.
SPIEGEL: Mr. President, so far you have traveled to the United States four times to attend the General Assembly of the United Nations. What is your impression of America and the Americans?
Ahmadinejad: In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate, I am pleased to be able to welcome you to Tehran once again, after our extensive conversation almost three years ago. Now on the USA: Of course, one cannot get to know a country like the United States in short visits, but my speech and the discussions at Columbia University were very special to me. I am quite aware that a distinction must be drawn between the American government and the American people. We do not hold Americans accountable for the faulty decisions of the Bush administration. They want to live in peace, like we all do.