Reuters: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has written President Bush a rambling 18-page treatise detailing alleged American foreign policy misdeeds and defending scientific research as “one of the basic rights of nations.” By Irwin Arieff
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has written President Bush a rambling 18-page treatise detailing alleged American foreign policy misdeeds and defending scientific research as “one of the basic rights of nations.”
The document, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters on Tuesday, argues generally that globally shared religious values should govern political life but makes no proposals for resolving the West’s concerns over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
Iran insists it is enriching uranium — and improving its techniques — solely to produce electricity for domestic consumption, while the West argues the program is a cover for making nuclear weapons.
The letter, received by the White House on Monday but not made public, was the first publicly announced personal communication from an Iranian president to his U.S. counterpart since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
The U.N. Security Council is weighing a British-French draft resolution, backed by the United States, demanding Iran suspend enrichment, but parts of the text have run into opposition from veto-wielding Russia and China.
Ahmadinejad’s letter appears to draw analogies between the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and U.S. threats against Iran, suggesting the United States lied to justify the war and is now suffering the consequences.
“On the pretext of the existence of WMDs (weapons of mass destruction), this great tragedy came to engulf both the peoples of the occupied and the occupying country. Later it was revealed that no WMDs existed to begin with,” the Iranian leader wrote in the letter, translated from Farsi.
“Lies were told in the Iraqi matter. What was the result? I have no doubt that telling lies is reprehensible in any culture, and you do not like to be lied to,” he said.
The war has cost the United States hundreds of billions of dollars and put tens of thousands of U.S. troops in harm’s way, “their hands stained with the blood of others, subjected to so much psychological pressure that every day some commit suicide,” his letter said.
Ahmadinejad, who previously called for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” also questioned the creation of the state of Israel in the Middle East after World War Two, asking, “how can this phenomenon be rationalized or explained?”
He wondered why some opposed the Palestinians’ new Hamas government, which, though it does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, was elected by Palestinian voters.
He also questioned how the September 11 attacks on the United States could have occurred without the knowledge of America’s extensive intelligence and security services.
“Why have the various aspects of the attacks been kept secret? Why are we not told who botched their responsibilities?” he asked.
“The people will scrutinize our presidencies. Did we manage to bring peace, security and prosperity for the people or insecurity and unemployment?” he asked. “Did we intend to establish justice, or just support special interest groups and, by forcing many people to live in poverty and hardship, made a few people rich and powerful?”
“I have been told that Your Excellency (Bush) follows the teachings of Jesus and believes in the divine promise of the rule of the righteous on Earth,” he said.
“We increasingly see that people around the world are flocking toward a main focal point — that is the Almighty God,” he added. “My question for you is, ‘Do you not want to join them?'”