In a speech broadcast live on Iranian national TV Jan. 28, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lashed out at the United States, insisting that the U.S. government apologize to Iran for a litany of alleged wrongs. The comments were the first Ahmadinejad has made about the United States since President Barack Obama took office.
“Those who say they want to make change, this is the change they should make: they should apologise to the Iranian nation and try to make up for their dark background and the crimes they have committed against the Iranian nation,” Ahmadinejad said.
His list of “crimes” included: supporting the Iranian coup of 1953, backing Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war, hindering Iran's economic development since the 1979 revolution, trying to block what Tehran says is a peaceful nuclear program; and other actions by U.S. administrations - some dating back more than 60 years.
Jon Leyne, reporting for the BBC from Tehran, said the speech was “one of Mr. Ahmadinejad's strongest tirades against the U.S.”
A day earlier, while opening a new Holocaust conference at Tehran’s Sharif University of Technology, Ahmadinejad accused the United States and Britain of using and exaggerating the Holocaust to “continue and expand the domination of the victors the world stage.”
He called Israel a “Zionist regime” and an “illegitimate offspring of the Holocaust” and said Western nations installed it in the Middle East “to ensure that no regional power would emerge outside the West and in Islamic lands. They did so, because they knew that Islamic civilization and culture has the dynamic potential to threaten their interests, which were based on oppression, force and thirst for power.”
Ahmadinejad further stated: “The filthy entity of the Zionist regime is not the sole fruit of the Holocaust. The consequences and fall-out of the Holocaust are, in fact, far greater than that. Today the Zionists dominate many of the world’s centers of power and wealth and media. Unfortunately, they have ensnared many politicians and parties and they are plundering the wealth and assets of nations in this way, depriving peoples of their freedoms and destroying their cultures and human values by spreading their nexus of corruption and decadence.”
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The Israel Project (TIP) an international non-profit organization, provides journalists and leaders accurate information about the Middle East. TIP is not related to any government or government agency.