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Shammu
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« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2007, 12:12:32 AM »

Ahmadinejad: Iran can help secure Iraq, Israel is 'cruel'
Sept 13 2007

Iran wants "peace and friendship for all," the country's president said Wednesday while again denying Western assertions his nation is pursuing nuclear weapons and trying to destabilize Iraq.

But Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took a hard line against Israel, calling it "an invader" and saying it "cannot continue its life."

Asked if Iran had launched a proxy war in Iraq -- something the U.S. ambassador and top military commander there both asserted this week -- Ahmadinejad said the United States is merely seeking a scapegoat for its failing campaign in Iraq.

"Forces have come into Iraq and destroyed the security, and many people are killed," the Iranian president told Britain's ITN during an interview in the garden of the Iranian presidential palace in Tehran.

"And there are some claims that may seem very funny and ridiculous. Those who have lots of weaponry and warfare and thousands of soldiers -- if they are defeated, they blame others. There is no way to escape for peace."

Iranians do not believe in war and consider it a "last resort," he said.

He further claimed that Tehran is a friend of Iraq -- maintaining "good relationships" with the Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish factions -- and "if Iraq is not secure, we are the first country that would be damaged."

He added, "Responsible people should understand this: that Iran is against any sort of insecurity and attacks, and Iraq is able to defend themselves." VideoWatch Ahmadinejad discuss issues affecting his country »

During the interview, Ahmadinejad struck a friendly tone toward Britain, saying he regretted that British soldiers have died in Iraq.

"We are sorry for your soldiers to be killed. We think peace should exist. Why should there be an invasion so that people will be killed?" he asked.

"We want friendship -- friendship to all. We love all nations and all human beings. Anyone who is killed, we are against it."

Ahmadinejad urged the United States and Britain to reconsider the invasion of Iraq. The two countries should "correct themselves," he said. If they don't, "the defeat would repeat."

The Islamic republic could help improve conditions in Iraq, but first coalition forces must leave, he said.

"We can help solve many problems in Iraq. We can help secure Iraq. We can help the attackers leave Iraq if the American government and British government correct themselves." he said.

Ahmadinejad has said in the past that Tehran would fill any power vacuum left by a withdrawal of coalition forces in Iraq.

The United States has cited the Iranian president's remarks as a reason to continue its efforts in Iraq.

As for allegations that Tehran is pursuing a nuclear weapon, Ahmadinejad said he resents the notion that Iran "has to obey whatever was put to us" and asked why there is no similar furor over American and British nuclear programs.

"Our bombs are dangerous, but American bombs are not dangerous?" he asked.

When the ITN interviewer asked if he could tour the Natanz nuclear facility in Iran, Ahmadinejad chuckled and asked him if he thought the United States or Britain would allow Iran to inspect their nuclear facilities.

"We do not need a bomb. We are against bombs, actually. There are many reasons we are against it," he said. "From a political point of view, it's not useful, we think."

The United Nations Security Council has so far imposed two rounds of limited sanctions against Iran for the country's refusal to suspend its uranium enrichment program.

Tehran has insisted the program is meant for peaceful energy production.

In regard to Israel, which Ahmadinejad has said should be politically "wiped off the map," the Iranian president said there is a way to deal with the Jewish state without violence.

Giving as an example the dissolution of the Soviet Union -- which he said came about "without war" -- Ahmadinejad suggested that "everything would be solved" if the Palestinian people were allowed to vote on their fate.

However, his hard-line rhetoric resurfaced when Ahmadinejad said Israel "cannot continue its life."

"Israel is an invader and is cruel, and it hasn't got a united public. All other nations are against it," he said. "We do not recognize them. They are attackers and illegal."

Ahmadinejad: Iran can help secure Iraq, Israel is 'cruel'
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« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2007, 12:17:30 AM »

Quote
Iran wants "peace and friendship for all," the country's president said Wednesday while again denying Western assertions his nation is pursuing nuclear weapons and trying to destabilize Iraq.

Quote
"We want friendship -- friendship to all. We love all nations and all human beings. Anyone who is killed, we are against it."

The koran allows lies to non-believers.

Quote
In regard to Israel, which Ahmadinejad has said should be politically "wiped off the map,"

Quote
However, his hard-line rhetoric resurfaced when Ahmadinejad said Israel "cannot continue its life."

"Israel is an invader and is cruel, and it hasn't got a united public. All other nations are against it," he said. "We do not recognize them. They are attackers and illegal."

Iran is one of the countries that will lead an attack against Israel, in Ezekiel 38 & 39

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« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2007, 08:02:32 PM »

Mahdi Return Imminent, Says Ahmadinejad: Escalation in the Positions of Iranian President Ahmadinejad

Introduction

In several recent speeches, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad outlined Iran's nuclear policy and set forth his vision regarding the interrelationship between Iran and the West.

In a speech about Iran's nuclear program, Ahmadinejad declared that Iran has become a global power, and that it would place its nuclear technology at the service of those determined to confront the U.S. and other Western countries. He announced that Iran was now successfully operating over 3,000 centrifuges, continued to downplay the impact of the U.N. Security Council sanctions on Iran, and reiterated Iran's official stance of refusal to freeze its nuclear activity. Ahmadinejad also harshly censured senior Iranian officials who had called for compromise with the West on Iran's nuclear program out of fear of a possible U.S. attack on Iran, hinting that they were traitors.

In addition, Ahmadinejad declared that the world was now at an historic turning point. The history of the West, he said, had reached its end, and the appearance of the Hidden Imam, heralding the era of Islamic Shi'ite rule, was nigh. [1] Thus, he called on the nations of the world to rise up against the hegemony of the West, headed by the U.S., and predicted the imminent collapse of Israel, which he called "Satan's standard-bearer." [2]

Following are statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on various issues, from his recent speeches:
Iran's Nuclear Program

On several occasions, Ahmadinejad stressed that Iran would continue developing its nuclear program regardless of the sanctions. He noted that the sanctions were having no impact on progress in "the irreversible path of the nuclearization of the Iranian nation" [3] and denied Western reports of a slowdown in Iran's uranium enrichment. Ahmadinejad further promised to place Iran's nuclear technology "at the service of those who are determined to confront the bullying powers and aggressors [i.e., the Western countries, headed by the U.S.]..." [4] At a recent conference of Revolutionary Guards commanders, he also stated that "some violent powers [i.e., the West, headed by the U.S.] are now officially declaring that they want to cooperate with the Iranian nation, and that they acknowledge Iran's [status] as a regional power. However, they must know that Iran is a global power." [5]

In a report submitted in late August 2007 to the to the International Atomic Energy Agency Council of Governors, IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei stated that as of August 19, 2007, 1,968 centrifuges at the Natanz facility had been injected with UF6 gas and were in operation. However, in early September, 2007, Ahmadinejad stated: "When we opened [the uranium conversion facility] at Isfahan, they [i.e. the West, headed by the U.S.] threatened military action [against us]. But now, we are operating over 3,000 centrifuges, and every week [another] new [centrifuge] system is installed... They have not managed to do anything against [our] united and steadfast nation." [6] He added, "They thought that they could make the Iranian nation withdraw with each of the sanctions resolutions that they issued - but after each resolution, the Iranian nation showed further progress [in its nuclear] program." [7]

On another occasion, Ahmadinejad harshly condemned senior Iranian officials who had in recent months called for compromise with the West: "With regard to obtaining nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, unreliable individuals have spoken of compromising... No one would believe it if I mentioned the names of these individuals, who in several meetings spoke of the need for compromise, enumerating the enemy's strong points, and [raising the possibility that the West could launch] an all-out war... We have experienced days when we were pressured from a hundred different directions from within [Iran] to withdraw [and to halt uranium enrichment]... But I said that I was willing to guarantee them that it was impossible for [the U.S.] to launch a war against us..." [8]

Ahmadinejad went on to explain: "At some meetings, I told these friends that I was an engineer, and that I had analyzed the problems and presented proof, [and thus] I told them that the enemies do not have the courage to launch a war against us. Some doubted my words, but I presented them with two [pieces of] evidence. First, I told them, I am an engineer, I am deliberate, I make tables and write and examine hypotheses for hours. I present proof and put together plans based on it, and that is how I proceed. They [the U.S.] cannot pose a problem to Iran. They are stuck in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they have problems there, and lack the ability [to act against Iran]. As further proof, I told them that I believe in the word of God. God said that those who act properly will triumph. Iran's Leader [Ali Khamenei] and the Iranian nation are steadfast in, attentive to, and agree with the word of God..." [9]

Ahmadinejad added, "I have documents [to prove] that some people, who [are supported by] newspapers that do nothing but malign [the government] on a daily basis, made every effort to ensure that sanctions were issued against Iran. They would provide [the West] with the latest updates [about Iran's nuclear program], and urge it to exert as much pressure as possible [on the Iranian government]. It was not one or two people, but at least eight or 10. Now, these people are turning to the Gulf states and telling them not to cooperate with the Iranian government." [10] In his speech to the Revolutionary Guards commanders, Ahmadinejad said, in a similar vein, "Unfortunately, some elements [in Iran] have encouraged some of the violent powers to increase the pressures on Iran." [11]

In a press conference during his August 21-22, 2007 visit to Azerbaijan, Ahmadinejad said that the West's attempts to stop Iran's nuclear program had been in vain, and that Iran had not changed its policy: "Thanks to the determined stance of the Iranian nation, which has stood united in defense of its right [to nuclear technology], Iran's enemies have not succeeded in preventing its progress, and in imposing their positions upon it, for Iran has [now] achieved a full nuclear fuel cycle... [The Western countries] know very well that their actions have no effect [on Iran], and that they will [eventually] be compelled to acknowledge its right [to develop this technology]... If these aggressive countries pay no heed to our friendly advice, their prestige in the world will suffer, and their situation will be more difficult...

"When I visited Baku last year, Iran was only at the halfway point on the winding and difficult path [to nuclear technology]. But today, with God's grace and thanks to the determined stand and resistance of the Iranian people, Iran has seen this narrow and difficult path through to its end... and now nobody can stop the progress of the Iranian nation [in the area of nuclear technology].

"There are countries whose attainment of nuclear technology did not bring about any change in the world. Iran's nuclearization, on the other hand, is the beginning of a very great change in the world, since its nuclear activities are in the service of peace, justice, and welfare for all the [world's] countries... You [i.e. the Western countries] have used the language of force, and have failed to realize [the greatness] of the Iranian nation. You thought that if you increased the pressure [i.e. the sanctions] on Iran, the Iranian nation would withdraw [from its position]... I said to these countries: You are wrong, and you are making fools of yourselves - for you cannot harm Iran in the slightest..." [12]

At an August 28, 2007 press conference at the presidential palace, Ahmadinejad said further: "As for the reports about [Iran] slowing down or accelerating its nuclear program, most of them are not grounded in reality. We are working to [enrich uranium]. This is a technical process, and any acceleration or deceleration [of the activities] has to do with technical circumstances and capabilities. Political decisions play no part in this... I hereby officially announce that, as far as Iran is concerned, the nuclear issue is closed. Those who thought that they could stop the Iranian nation through discriminatory political moves [i.e. sanctions], and by abusing their [power] in the international decision-making bodies, now realize that the path they took was wrong..." [13]

The Return of the Mahdi is Imminent; The West's Hegemony Has Come to an End

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« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2007, 08:04:06 PM »

In his speech at the annual International Seminar on the Doctrine of Mahdism, held in Tehran August 25-26, 2007, Ahmadinejad stated that Western dominance has come to an end, and called on the nations of the world to rebel against "the oppressive imperialist powers" in preparation for the coming of the Hidden Imam:

"The Hidden Imam is heir to everything that has been good and beautiful throughout history, and the call [to await his coming] is a call [to have faith] in the missions of the divine prophets, in monotheism, and in justice... In these days, humanity longs for monotheism and justice. With God's grace, the [preparations] for a flood of compassion, truth and justice will soon be complete...

"The message of Mahdism, which calls [to believe] in the Savior [i.e. the Hidden Imam], brings hope and joy to people [throughout the world]. [It is] a message of steadfastness and patience and of resisting the oppressors [i.e. the West, headed by America]; it is a message of submission [to God] and of the pursuit of justice and honor. The current situation in the world has led the nations to reject in disgust the rule of the oppressors. Now is the time to invite people to accept the rule of the righteous, and [especially that] of the most righteous of [rulers] - the Hidden Imam...

"Today's imperialist forces give humanity nothing by forcing wars [upon it], plundering its resources, violating [human] rights, issuing threats, trampling human dignity and [spreading] corruption, vice and insecurity... The oppressors and tyrants are responsible for all the difficulties and problems currently faced by the nations, and the only way to establish justice is through popular uprising and determined resistance in the face of these oppressors...

"[The day] of these aggressors... who are oppressing and controlling the nations, is now coming to an end. Those who [seek to] distract the people with materialistic philosophy of one kind or another, and who pursue materialism, have brought humanity nothing but despair and deception... The time of the righteous rulers will come, and the most righteous of rulers, [i.e. the Hidden Imam], will form a government and thereby instate the monotheism of Abraham [throughout the world]. That day is not far away...

"Our enemies naturally feel threatened by the call to [believe in] the Mahdi, for they do not want people to think about justice. But our reply to them is that the era of the aggressive [powers] has come to an end. We believe that it is time for the righteous to rule, and for humanity to be properly [re]born out of love, knowledge, and spirituality." [14]

In his speech at the opening of the fourth World Assembly of the Ahl Al-Beit Foundation, held in Tehran August 18-19, 2007, Ahmadinejad said: [15]

"Today we must prepare ourselves to discharge the responsibility [placed] upon us... which transcends the [boundaries of the] Muslim world... Islam is the truth. This truth was only partly revealed in Judaism and Christianity, but is fully revealed in Islam... Today, as ever, the world needs the Hidden Imam, [for] it is suffering under the yoke of dishonest [rulers]... Our mission transcends the geographical boundaries of the Muslim [world]. Our clerics have a responsibility to call upon humanity as a whole to [embrace] the [true] monotheism and the rule of monotheistic principles." [16]

In an August 28, 2007 speech, Ahmadinejad added, "The current problems faced by the world result from [the rule] of unworthy rulers. The ultimate solution is to replace these unworthy regimes and rulers, and to establish the rule of the Hidden Imam..." [17] "Those who are not versed in [the doctrine of Mahdism] believe that the return [of the Hidden Imam] will occur only in a very long time, but, according to the divine promise, [his return] is imminent..." [18]

On August 29, 2007, Ahmadinejad said, "The Iranian nation and the Islamic Revolution have a pivotal role in preparing the ground for the coming of the Hidden Imam... We must rapidly develop Iran in order to create the
conditions for his coming, and we must also help the rest of the world's nations [to prepare for his return], in order to precipitate this great event..." [19]

"The responsibility that currently rests on Iran's [shoulders] is very heavy; it is the kind of mission [with which] the divine prophets [were entrusted]. It does not permit us to rest or slumber even for a moment. Have you ever seen a prophet take a rest from the fulfillment of his mission?..." [20]

Israel Has No Right to Exist; Its Collapse is Imminent

Ahmadinejad's recent speeches have also been characterized by statements against the Zionists and against Israel, which he called "Satan's standard-bearer." [21]

At the August 28, 2007 press conference, he said: "[The Zionists] have no religion, for religion means having faith in others and maintaining friendly [relations] with [other] nations. But everywhere they exist there is war. They are responsible for much of the injustice in the world. The Zionists are a minority which numbers no more than a few tens of thousands, but they have formed clandestine organizations, because they do not want peace and friendship to prevail among the nations... They thrive on war and hatred. If peace [ever] prevails in the world, the people of the world will eradicate Zionism. If the [European] nations could have acted [freely], they would have thrown them out of Europe." [22]

In his speech at the Ahl Al-Beit assembly, Ahmadinejad said: "You also saw the outcome of the 33-day war in Lebanon [in the summer of 2006], and how Hizbullah stood fast against the Zionist regime. Can such a regime [conceivably] last? A regime whose entire philosophy and existence are founded upon lies is bound to collapse... The extent of the defeat of the world superpowers is reflected by the extent to which their ideology and reasoning have failed... [Israel] is the standard-bearer of aggression, occupation, and discrimination in the world. Considering all this, [how] can this regime [possibly] last?" [23]

In line with his view of Israel as a foreign body in the region, Ahmadinejad said, at a September 4, 2007 meeting with deposed Palestinian foreign minister Ziad Abu 'Amru: "The only way out of the crisis is through armed resistance by a united Palestinian nation, with determination and faith in God... It would be naïve of us to believe that America and certain European countries might take steps to help the Palestinian people - for the Zionist regime is their representative, and is flesh of their flesh... The Palestinian nation is now invincible... The Iranian nation and government believe in the Palestinian cause, and are interested in its fulfillment. [They] will continue to stand by the Palestinian people..." [24]

On the Situation in Iraq

In line with his view that the Western hegemony is coming to an end, Ahmadinejad stated that the depth of the West's defeat mirrors the depth of its ideological defeat. He predicted that the Coalition forces will soon be forced to withdraw from Iraq, and declared that Iran would be willing to fill the vacuum. [25]

In his speech at the Ahl Al-Beit assembly, he said: "The hegemony of America and its allies in Iraq has been shattered, and [the Americans] have suffered an historic defeat. The depth of the [military] defeat [suffered by] the Global Arrogance [i.e. America] mirrors [the depth of] their ideological defeat...

"The world is now at a historic turning point. This is apparent from the briefest glance at the global balance of power, which is rapidly tipping towards truth and away from falsehood... America and its allies in Iraq are now sinking in a quagmire, from which they... can escape only at great cost..." [26]

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« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2007, 08:04:56 PM »

On another occasion, Ahmadinejad said, "The aggressors have become entangled in Iraq. They attribute no importance to Iraqi lives... I hereby announce loud and clear that the occupier's political forces are facing defeat in Iraq... [and that] we will soon see a serious leadership vacuum in the region. I hereby announce that Iran is willing to fill this vacuum, with the help of its neighbors and friends in the region, including Saudi Arabia. With the help of the Iraqi people, we will fill this vacuum. This is already happening; we must open our eyes to see it...

"I advise the aggressors to stop their stubbornness and selfishness... Even if you stay in Iraq for another 50 years, not only will conditions fail to improve, they will deteriorate... Iraq is, in the present circumstances, [just] another example of the corrupt rule of the superpowers... We have announced [in the past] our willingness to extricate you from the Iraqi quagmire - but if you choose to stay there, you are welcome to do so!... Wait a few months, and [you will see] that under pressure, the [Al-Maliki] government will be defeated..." [27]

On Renewing Relations with Egypt

On August 28, 2007, Ahmadinejad reiterated that Iran was willing to renew relations with Egypt, [28] and added that both countries would benefit from this, as two dominant forces in the region.

"Iran and Egypt are both great and civilized nations, which [maintain] ties of mutual friendship. The truth is that the Egyptian nation is clearly interested in [relations] with Iran, and that the Iranian nation is interested in [relations] with Egypt. The two countries have many distinctive characteristics in common, such as a unique and ancient culture. Furthermore, both have significant influence in regional and global issues, and therefore, friendship between them will benefit the Muslim countries and the world [at large].

"[During my visit] to the UAE [in May 2007], I announced that if Egypt declares its willingness to renew the relations [with Iran], we would promptly dispatch an ambassador [to Cairo]. The deputy foreign ministers of the two countries are due to meet [to discuss this issue], and this [meeting] will be followed by a meeting between the foreign ministers [themselves] in order to prepare the foundations for [renewing] relations. I hope that these [plans] will be realized shortly..." [29]

On Human Rights in Iran

In the same speech, Ahmadinejad said that all citizens and groups in Iran enjoyed complete and full freedom, and can express their opinions freely. Addressing the issue of the Iranian-American academic Dr. Haleh Esfandiari, who was recently released from an Iranian prison after being detained for over three months, he stated that her case would be decided by the Iranian judiciary. [30]

* Y. Mansharof is a Research Fellow at MEMRI; A. Savyon is Director of MEMRI's Iranian Media Project.


[1] According to Shi'ite belief, the Twelfth Imam (known as the Mahdi, or the Hidden Imam) disappeared in 941 CE. Shi'ites are commanded to anticipate his reappearance, which will bring their redemption and the proof of the rightness of the Shi'ite belief. See MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 357, "The Doctrine of Mahdism: In the Ideological and Political Philosophy of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad," May 31, 2007,

[2] IRNA (Iran), August 18, 2007.

[3] IRNA (Iran), August 25, 2007.

[4] IRNA (Iran), August 21, 2007.

[5] Kayhan (Iran), September 12, 2007.

[6] ISNA (Iran), September 2, 2007.

[7] Kayhan (Iran), September 3, 2007.

[8] Aftab (Iran), September 2, 2007.

[9] Etemad-e Meli (Iran), September 3, 2007. In its September 3, 2007 editorial, the reformist daily Etemad-e Meli - owned by former parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi, who ran for president in 2005 but was forced to drop out of the race after he accused Ahmadinejad of election fraud - stated that, with all due respect to the president's Ph.D. in transportation engineering, there was no guarantee that Iran would not be attacked by the U.S., and that Ahmadinejad should be more realistic. Ahmadinejad was also criticized by the reformist daily Aftab-e Yazd in its August 19, 2007 editorial; the editorial condemned Ahmadinejad for failing to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Kyrgyzstan in August 2007. The editorial stated: "Those who followed the news about the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Conference noticed the conspicuous absence of one significant report, [namely] a report about a meeting between Ahmadinejad and Putin." In an August 28, 2007 speech, Ahmadinejad claimed that he had, in fact, met with Putin during the conference, and that Putin had promised him that Russia would complete the construction of the Bushehr reactor. However, it was later confirmed by several Iranian media sources that no meeting had taken place.

[10] Rooz (Iran), September 3, 2007. According to another Rooz report, Ahmadinejad said: "More than there were Western pressures, there were pressures by cowardly circles within [Iran]... who called for compromise. But if we had withdrawn [from our position], the pressures would not have stopped. God told us [in the Koran] that we must stand fast, and that if we give in, even in the slightest, nothing would remain of our independence... In [certain] circles, there was an official who would pass intelligence to foreign agents, and who encouraged [the West] to increase the sanctions. This individual, from a [certain] faction within the government whose newspapers malign [the government] even today, held regular meetings with [foreign agents], passed information about disagreements [within the Iranian leadership], and opposed the issuing of [relatively] moderate sanctions against Iran. Now he has turned to the Gulf states, and, maligning the Iranian government, he has asked them not to cooperate with [Iran]." Rooz (Iran), September 3, 2007.

[11] Kayhan (Iran), September 12, 2007.

[12] ISNA (Iran), August 28, 2007.

[13] ISNA (Iran), August 28, 2007.

[14] IRNA (Iran), August 27, 2007.

[15] The term "Ahl Al-Beit" refers to the lineage of Ali Ibn Abi Talib and Fatima, daughter of the Prophet Muhammad, whose descendents are regarded by the Shi'ites as the true heirs of the Prophet. The Ahl Al-Beit Foundation, founded in 1990, aims to promote the study and culture of Shi'ite Islam. Its members are religious and political figures from several Muslim countries.

[16] Kayhan (Iran), August 19, 2007.

[17] IRNA (Iran), August 28, 2007.

[18] ISNA (Iran), August 28, 2007.

[19] IRNA (Iran), August 30, 2007.

[20] Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), September 3, 2007.

[21] IRNA (Iran), August 18, 2007.

[22] ISNA (Iran), August 28, 2007.

[23] Kayhan (Iran), August 19, 2007.

[24] Mehr (Iran), September 4, 2007.

[25] At central Friday prayers on August 17, 2004, Council of Experts member Ahmad Khatami said that the Arab countries should remember that after the U.S. leaves Iraq, Iran will still be right there in the region.

[26] Kayhan (Iran), August 19, 2007.

[27] ISNA (Iran), August 28, 2007.

[28] For Ahmadinejad's statements on this topic from May 2007, and reactions to these statements, see MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 364, "Dispute in Iran over Renewing Relations with Egypt," June 15, 2007,

[29] ISNA (Iran), August 28, 2007.

[30] ISNA (Iran), August 28, 2007.
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« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2007, 01:11:46 PM »

Journalist, Columbia graduate to rip diploma over Iran prez
'Tearing is a sign of mourning, indeed it is a day of mourning'

If noted journalist and Columbia University alumna Aliza Davidovit walks onto the campus of her alma mater today, it won't be to recall fond memories of her college days – it will be to rip up her diploma from Columbia to protest the appearance of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"I once prized my Columbia diploma and degree, and in my career as a journalist I've done much to make my alma mater proud. But today I am very, very ashamed. I have removed my diploma from the wall and if Ahmadinejad speaks, I will tear it in two, " Davidovit told WND.

"In Judaism, tearing is a sign of mourning. And indeed it is a day of mourning – a day when the integrity of freedom died a little."

Davidovit, who earned her master's degree in journalism from Columbia, is a writer, author, journalist and former TV producer. She is currently contributing editor at Lifestyles magazine and specializes in interviewing and writing about the world's most famous and influential people for cover stories. She worked at ABC News "20/20" for six years with Connie Chung and in the ABC News Terrorism/Investigations Unit with John Miller. She was also an associate producer and booker at the Fox News Channel.

(Story continues below) Today, in an exclusive WND commentary, Davidovit takes Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger to task for using the First Amendment to justify the university's decision to invite Ahmadinejad to speak on campus.

She writes: "Would he, in the name of free speech, advocate inviting pedophiles to speak at PTA meetings so parents could better understand why their kids should not be sent to playgrounds with no pants on.

"Would Columbia invite a world leader to speak who claims black slavery was a myth or who calls for all black people to be "wiped off the map"? The answer is certain. He wouldn't.

"If Bollinger wants his students, as he has said, 'to understand the world as it is and as it might be,' let him take his students on a field trip to the Walter Reid Medical Center where our troops our coming home without limbs and without faces because of Ahmadinejad. Let him bring them to the airports where families welcome home their loved ones in a wooden box. Let him take them to the Holocaust museum where they can view how university students their own age were turned into bars of soap and lampshades."
« Last Edit: September 24, 2007, 01:14:58 PM by Pastor Roger » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2007, 01:18:06 PM »

Minutemen's Gilchrist, no ... Ahmadinejad, yes
Columbia University retracted invitation to border activist before OK to Iran prez

Columbia University said it would welcome any notable figure visiting the United States — even Adolf Hitler himself — to speak to students and faculty at the Ivy League college.

But there are those who question what the New York college's standards are. They ask why a school that will not allow an ROTC program to be part of its curriculum would allow Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, one of America’s avowed enemies, onto its campus.

Critics wonder why the leader of a nation that exports terrorism is allowed to speak, but the leader of an American organization that seeks to secure U.S. borders was not.

On Monday, Columbia will play host to Ahmadinejad, who has called the Holocaust "a myth," encouraged the destruction of Israel and who leads a nation that has supported Hezbollah terrorists in the Middle East and insurgents in Iraq.

The Iranian president will address students and faculty at a forum only days after Columbia retracted a speaking invitation to the president of the Minuteman Project, a controversial citizens' group that seeks to secure America's borders from illegal immigrants, even going so far as to try building a fence along the border with Mexico.

Minuteman founder and president Jim Gilchrist said he now feels "sweet and sour" toward Columbia after an invitation to participate in an Oct. 4 talk was taken away last week. Gilchrist appeared at Columbia last year, but his speech was thwarted when students and other opponents stormed the stage as he took the podium.

"I've always respected Columbia, but I've relegated it to a gutter school after that incident," Gilchrist said in a phone interview. "They've stopped free speech. That's worse than killing people. With that, you can kill an entire nation."

But Gilchrist — an ardent supporter of the First Amendment — actually backs the university's decision to host Ahmadinejad.

"I'm defending his appearance," he said. "I think he should speak. To say no, he cannot speak, is to support exactly the same thing that happened to me."

Gilchrist added that he wouldn't back Ahmadinejad’s appearance if the United States were at war with Iran.

He believes Columbia's administrators are good about fostering free speech but give too much power to "radical" groups in determining who gets a forum on campus.

A student and faculty group called the Columbia Political Union initially voted to ask Gilchrist back this year, but it was ultimately the organization that reversed the vote and rescinded his invitation. The CPU was apparently not a key factor in the Ahmadinejad visit, which is sponsored by Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs and is part of the university's annual World Leaders Forum.

The CPU explained its decision not to go forward with the Gilchrist appearance in a statement issued on its Web site on Sept. 18.

"We had hoped that it might be possible to have him and others involved in the events of last October on the same stage, engaged in a civil but challenging discussion," the CPU said. "It has become clear that this event cannot take the form we had originally hoped it would and could not effectively accomplish the goals we had hoped it might.

"The CPU Executive Board voted last night not to go forward with this event."

University officials did not return calls from FOXNews.com seeking comment on the school's public-speaking policies and decisions.

But John Coatsworth, the dean of the School of International and Public Affairs, said in a weekend interview with FOX News that just about anyone would be welcome to speak at the university — except the leaders of countries the United States is at war with.

As for Hitler, he said, prior to the invasion of Poland in 1939, “if Hitler were in the United States and wanted a platform from which to speak, he would have plenty of platforms to speak in the United States. If he were willing to engage in a debate and discussion, and be challenged by Columbia students and faculty, we would certainly invite him.”

Columbia University President Lee Bollinger issued a lengthy statement defending the school's decision to host Ahmadinejad and said that during his introduction to the event, he would challenge the Iranian president on the following:

—the Iranian president's denial of the Holocaust;

—his public call for the destruction of Israel;

—his reported support for international terrorism that targets innocent civilians and American troops;

—Iran's pursuit of nuclear ambitions in opposition to international sanctions;

—his government's widely documented suppression of civil society and particularly women's rights;

—his government's imprisoning of journalists and scholars, including one of Columbia's own alumni, Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh.

"Columbia, as a community dedicated to learning and scholarship, is committed to confronting ideas," Bollinger said in his statement. "On occasion this will bring us into contact with beliefs many, most or even all of us will find offensive and even odious. ...

"It should never be thought that merely to listen to ideas we deplore in any way implies our endorsement of those ideas, or the weakness of our resolve to resist those ideas or our naiveté about the very dangers in such ideas."

Bollinger said that the "faith in freedom" is "our nation's most potent weapon against repressive regimes everywhere in the world. This is America at its best."

Gilchrist, for his part, praised Columbia's administrators and faculty but expressed disdain for students who have been able to sway the school not to invite certain visitors of whom they don't approve.

"The administration is very much for free speech. I have to commend the administration," Gilchrist said. "It's the caveman mentalities on campus that have seized control about what will be tolerated and what will not be tolerated. ... I'm ashamed of the student body there. They're showing very poor leadership."
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« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2007, 01:19:53 PM »

Angry welcome awaits Ahmadinejad in NYC 
Big protests expected as Iran's leader visits Columbia University

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Monday that Iran would not launch an attack on Israel or any other country, and he does not believe the U.S. is preparing for war against Iran.

“Iran will not attack any country,” Ahmadinejad told The Associated Press. Iran has always maintained a defensive policy, not an offensive one, he said, and has “never sought to expand its territory.”

Asked whether he beleved the U.S. is preparing for war, he responded: “That is not how I see it ... I believe that some of the talk in this regard arises first of all from anger. Secondly, it serves the electoral purposes domestically in this country. Third, it serves as a cover for policy failures over Iraq.”
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In a 30-minute interview at a hotel near the United Nations, where he will address then General Assembly on Tuesday, Ahmadinejad struck a soothing tone. He said Iranian foreign policy was based on humanitarian concerns and seeking justice.

He reiterated his call for a debate at the United Nations on world issues with President Bush.

Referring to fears of a military campaign against Iran, he said: “We don’t think you can compensate for one mistake by committing more mistakes.”

The Iranian president, in what is believed to be his first comments on a reported attack Sept. 6 by Israeli bombers inside Syria, said the attack stemmed from Israeli expansionism and “it had nothing to with Iran.”

Columbia controversy
Ahmadinejad's visit to New York drew tabloid headlines calling him "evil" and a "madman," and stirred debate about free speech ahead of his appearance at Columbia University.

Columbia President Lee Bollinger has promised to grill Ahmadinejad on subjects such as human rights, the Holocaust and Iran's disputed nuclear program. The Iranian leader previously has called the Holocaust "a myth" and called for Israel to be "wiped off the map."

Bollinger said Monday it was a question of free speech and academic freedom.

"It's extremely important to know who the leaders are of countries that are your adversaries. To watch them to see how they think, to see how they reason or do not reason. To see whether they're fanatical, or to see whether they are sly," he told ABC's "Good Morning America."

The New York Daily News' front page on Monday read: "THE EVIL HAS LANDED." The New York Post called Ahmadinejad the "Madman Iran Prez" and a "guest of dishonor."

Tensions are high between Washington and Tehran over U.S. accusations that Iran is secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons, as well as helping Shiite militias in Iraq that target U.S. troops — claims Iran denies.

"Well, you have to appreciate we don't need a nuclear bomb. We don't need that. What need do we have for a bomb?" Ahmadinejad said in a "60 Minutes" interview that aired Sunday, taped earlier in Iran. "In political relations right now, the nuclear bomb is of no use. If it was useful it would have prevented the downfall of the Soviet Union."

He also said that: "It's wrong to think that Iran and the U.S. are walking toward war. Who says so? Why should we go to war? There is no war in the offing."

Before leaving Iran, Ahmadinejad said the American people have been denied "correct information," and his visit will give them a chance to hear a different voice, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Ahmadinejad has appealed to the American people before, distinguishing between the population and their government. Recently, he told a television show that Iran wants peace and friendship with America. Since coming to power in 2005, Ahmadinejad also has sent letters to the American people criticizing President Bush's policies in the Middle East.
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« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2007, 02:35:00 PM »

I have a VERY BIG PROBLEM RIGHT NOW!!!!!

this terrorist, this liar, had the audacity to stand at that podium and talk about religion!!!

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« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2007, 02:43:44 PM »

I have a VERY BIG PROBLEM NOW!!!!!

This sick, terrorist, and I could think of a lot of other things to call him but I won't, is allowed to stand in a podium of a very well known international college and speak "religion",  WHY CAN'T WE AMERICANS

DO THE SAME THING IN OUR OWN COUNTRY, WHY ARE WE NOT ALLOWED TO SAY THE NAME JESUS???

THIS MAN KNOW NOTHING ABOUT GOD, HE IS NOT EVEN ANSWERING ANY OF THE QUESTIONS ASKED ... HE IS JUST ASKING QUESTIONS TO THE QUESTIONS ASKED. HIS VISIT HERE WAS A VERY BIG MISTAKE.

 Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry
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« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2007, 03:03:54 PM »

I missed the first part as I had to go to the store. I wasn't going to watch this but I turned on Fox News and there he was. He was saying that he wanted to talk to President Bush in front of the public so to get negotiations going and to have the truth out in the open. He said that peaceful results could be obtained. Yep, all we have to do to get peaceful results from him is to accept islam as the only religion. NOT! There still would be no peace.

I agree, sister. It was a big mistake having this person here.

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« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2007, 03:05:38 PM »

He just said it all. To have peace we have to be in "brotherhood" with them.

There are so many lies coming from him. He is pandering to the left and they are buying it.

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« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2007, 03:09:37 PM »

WHAT A HYPOCRITICAL LIAR HE IS.... Angry Angry Angry

I CAN'T BELIEVE BOLINGER EVEN INVITED HIM TO SPEAK AT COLUMBIA.

IF HE IS GRANTED FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN OUR COUNTRY WHY AREN'T WE??

THIS MAN STARTED OFF BY SAYING HE DIDN'T APPRECIATE THE INTRODUCTION GIVEN BY BOLIGER.   WHO CARES? IF HE HE LIKED IT OR NOT.  WE DON'T LIKE HIM BEING IN OUR COUNTRY.
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« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2007, 03:32:05 PM »

((Maria)) Don't let it get to you. This world is evil and not our home. America isn't your home, Canada isn't my home. Heaven is our home.
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« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2007, 03:36:30 PM »

Amen, brother. That is a fact and the only thing keeping my blood pressure down.

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