• 23 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • 3 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Ahmadinejad’s NY presser

From Associated Press:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad urged President Barack Obama to see Iran as a potential friend instead of a threat ahead of addresses both leaders will give to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday. The Iranian leader also said in a wide-ranging Associated Press interview Tuesday that he expects “free and open” discussion of nuclear issues at a meeting next week with six world powers, but stressed that his country would not negotiate on its own nuclear plans.

He sought to open a wider nuclear dialogue with the West, and said the onus should be on the United States and other major nuclear powers to give up their weapons and to expand opportunities for all countries to make peaceful use of nuclear power. Speaking to AP reporters and editors just hours after arriving in the United States, Ahmadinejad said he will seek a quick resolution to the case of three American hikers jailed in Iran. He dismissed last week’s U.S. shift away from a planned long-range missile shield in Europe, meant to guard against an Iranian strike, as “a respectful way of buying out” Russian objections. “I heard Mr. Obama saying the next threat is Iran. Iran is an opportunity for everyone,” Ahmadinejad said. The Iranian leader said Obama is not the first U.S. president to believe Iran is a threat and said the president should read up on history “to see what the fate is of viewing these problems from this perspective.” “Historically, whoever made friends with Iran saw a lot of opportunities,” Ahmadinejad said. The Iranian president’s remarks on those and other issues in an hour-long interview at his New York hotel appeared designed to present his country as open to a broad international dialogue and to soften Iran’s image as a rogue nation bent on spreading its Islamic revolution. Ahmadinejad reiterated explicitly that Iran is not building nuclear weapons. “I hope that Mr. Obama will move in the direction of change,” Ahmadinejad said. At another point he said, “The sources of insecurity around the world need to be discussed.”

When asked about the three American hikers, Ahmadinejad said they broke the law by illegally entering Iran. Nevertheless, Ahmadinejad said he will ask the Iranian judiciary to treat the case with “maximum lenience.” Ahmadinejad also was asked about the case of an Iranian-Canadian journalist, Maziar Bahari, who was working for Newsweek magazine and imprisoned while covering the social unrest in Iran after the disputed June presidential election. Ahmadinejad did not reply about Bahari, limiting his remarks to the case of the hikers. The ambassador at Iran’s mission at the United Nations, Mohammad Khazee, said later that he hoped the case of Bahari would also be resolved.

Ahmadinejad said he regrets the deaths of protesters in the violence that followed his country’s disputed presidential elections, but denied that his government had any role in the killings. Ahmadinejad said those who died were “not at fault.” He instead said the responsibility lies with Iranian opposition politicians and with “European and American politicians” who he said fueled the violence. “We believe what they did was very wrong,” he said. Iran’s pro-reform opposition has staged dramatic protests, claiming that Ahmadinejad’s victory in the June voting was fraudulent. The Iranian government waged a bloody crackdown and opposition groups say at least 72 protesters were killed. Government officials maintain that only 36 people died, and Ahmadinejad repeated that claim. “It is all very regrettable,” Ahmadinejad said, adding that he has directed Iran’s judicial system to investigate each death. “The government has no role in these events.”

Ahmadinejad muted his remarks on the Holocaust, an event he has frequently questioned as a matter of historical fact. Using markedly less confrontational language than he has in the past, Ahmadinejad said he is not interested in debating historical details. Instead, he said he wants to focus on what he calls the wrong done to Palestinians who lost their land when the state of Israel was formed. Ahmadinejad said the Holocaust is used as a pretext for the repression of Palestinians. He grouped the deaths of Jews during World War II with those of millions of others who died. Ahmadinejad repeated his nation’s interest in cooperating to help stabilize Afghanistan and help Iraq, but blamed the United States for having created chaos in the war-torn country on Iran’s eastern border. “The occupying forces or the groups that have sent in the military to these two states, if indeed their policy has led to further instability, what do they want us to do?” Ahmadinejad said. “What exactly can we do for a car that has decided to speed up and basically crash down the hill? I don’t see exactly what we can do under that scenario.”

Posted By Matthew Negreanu

    3 Responses to “Ahmadinejad’s NY presser”

  1. Don Cox says:

    He tells great big lies about the election that he lost. Why would anyone believe a word he says about any other topic? How could one negotiate with a person who is guaranteed to lie and deceive? Anything he signs will not be worth the paper it’s written on.

  2. Megan says:

    why should US be a friend of a government of murder, rape and torture? Iran is a big prison and Ahmadi Najad is one of the many prison gards.

  3. Billy says:

    A-Jad is always good for a laugh. But unfortunately now he’ll be forced to exterminate himself.

    http://doodiepants.com/2009/10/04/mahmoud-ahmadinejad-forced-to-exterminate-himself-jewish/

Leave a Reply




XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


Sign the Petition

 

7,349 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.

Sincerely,

[signature]

Share this with your friends: