Bloomberg: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his nation will defend itself if attacked by Israel, according to excerpts of a CNN interview scheduled for broadcast tomorrow night. Bloomberg
By Brian Wingfield
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his nation will defend itself if attacked by Israel, according to excerpts of a CNN interview scheduled for broadcast tomorrow night.
“The response of Iran is quite clear, I don’t even need to explain that,” Ahmadinejad said in an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, according to a transcript. “Any nation has the right and will indeed defend herself.”
Tensions between the nations are high as Iran pursues a nuclear program that it says are for peaceful purposes, while the U.S. and its allies say Iran may be hiding nuclear weapon development. While Iran wouldn’t begin a potential war with Israel, it could strike pre-emptively if plans to attack the Persian nation are confirmed, Iranian air force commander Amir Ali Haji said, the state-run al-Alam television reported today.
The top commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps said Sept. 22 that Israel would be “destroyed” if a war occurs. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the U.S. should establish a “red line” that would result in a military attack. President Barack Obama’s administration has used economic sanctions to deter Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
“The Zionists are very much, very adventuresome, very much seeking to fabricate things,” Ahmadinejad said, according to CNN. “I think they see themselves at the end of the line and I do firmly believe that they seek to create new opportunities for themselves and their adventurous behaviors.”
The network’s interview with the Iranian president covered issues including the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed American Ambassador Christopher Stevens. An online video depicting the prophet Mohammed in a negative light helped to fuel the attack.
“Any action that is provocative, offends the religious thoughts and feelings of any people, we condemn,” Ahmadinejad said on CNN. “Likewise, we condemn any type of extremism. Of course, what took place was ugly.”
Ahmadinejad said he hopes “the day will come in which politicians will not seek to offend those whom others hold holy.” He said “this must also be resolved in a humane atmosphere, in a participatory environment and we do not like anyone losing their lives or being killed for any reason anywhere in the world.”
Morgan also pressed the Iranian president to explain his views on homosexuality.
“Do you really believe that someone is born homosexual?” Ahmadinejad asked the news anchor in response. “Let me ask you this. Do you believe that anyone is giving birth through homosexuality? Homosexuality ceases procreation.”