Ahmadinejad’s Interview with Channel 4 of England’s
December 23, 2009
JON SNOW: There have been disturbances there has been awful scenes of violence on the streets and that has disturbed people inside and outside Iran. That makes it difficult to extend hand doesn’t it?
AHMADINEJAD: We are facing same problems here. While the US has a military build up in Afghanistan and killing our brothers in that country. At same time the US is supporting killing of Palestinians, and they extend the resolutions and sanctions. Worse than that the American police beat people, they arrest people and use batons and tear gas against people… ”
JS: “Well, two wrongs don’t make right do they Mr. President? The Basij here, and we have this firsthand from a member of the Basij, he says they were given the permissions to go in and use no restraint and attack people who disagree with you. Women, men were hit with batons – and some were killed.
AH: In my opinion you have access to some information which I don’t know.
JS: Well we have spoken to a Basij who told us what orders they were given.
AH: With whom did you talk to?
JS: We spoke with a member of the Basij who has now run from Iran.
AH: Clearly this source of information must be very exact. I think it is not correct to judge in this way. In our country the law prevails.
JS: But you can see videos Mr President. You’ve scene the pictures of what the Basij were doing and what the Revolutionary Guard were doing. And what he has seen too is the beating and the raping of men and women in detention.
AH: Did you see all of these things on the pictures?
JS: We saw all of the things in the streets – of course we do not get the stories of what happened in the containers where people were being detained.
AH: There have been clashes amongst some people – how can you find out if he was Basij or another person? Let me repeat that. In my country the law prevails.
JS: You deny that the Basij beat up these people?
AH: No, we are not concerned with these things as you claim. The law prevails. Some people may violate the law in any place anywhere. And maybe they have not observed and respected the law during demonstrations or protests they may have participated in illegal demonstrations. Or they might get involved in clashes whether they are ordinary people or from among the Asians….The law will certainly investigate. Iran is a free country. Do you believe that Iran should be like West? We have freedom in Iran – people are free to express their views. They can also cry for their rights…you are making a mistake….
JS: But you have sent journalists out of the country….
AH: You are making a mistake. And the Western politicians think something happening in Iran and Iran has become weakened. That is a mistake. They do not know Iran. The people of Iran are united and they would certainly defend rights and interests. They would protect their independence. There are different views that exist in this country. There are differences of opinion there are rivals, competitors and they are serious. But the majority of the nation is united and they are determined to protect their independence.
JS: But, Mr President you contrast today….
AH: You can see the scenes on the streets of London where people are being beaten by British police.
JS: But you can contrast today in Iran with even two years ago: there were many foreign journalists here, there was much for freedom – people could watch what ever they wanted on the Internet or whatever. Now, for example any broadcast or Internet appearance by the BBC is jammed, there are no, or very few foreign correspondents. And it is very difficult now to report on….
AH: Who is the BBC owned by? Is it a state owned company or private?
JS: It is a state-owned, regulated company which has independence from the government — we have to pay individually to the BBC to fund it.
AH: Alright. How can a government institution or state-owned company be independent from the policy of the government? Do you know anywhere in the world where the BBC has acted against the policies of the government? The BBC is the instrument of British government foreign policy and the British government has shown that it is against and hostile to our nation. They have shown that for about 100 years.
JS: But is that the same for example with Newsweek? Take Maziar Bahari who worked for Newsweek. He gets thrown into jail, he is beaten in jail, he is tortured in jail, he has told me that himself.
AH: And you have accepted his claims?
JS: He is a man I have known for a long time — I trust him….
AH: People say a lot of things. Do you think freedom prevails in US? And do you think the media in the US is free? Why aren’t people allowed to have demonstrations against the Zionists? Do you think all the media in the US I against the Palestinians? They are clear facts. We are not going to deceive each other – they are political and media games. And that period is over. It will have not effect in the world. They offer interpretations based on some lies. That period is over we should focus on realities and we should talk to each other based on those realities, based on the law. And I think that is a mistake made by the political politicians in the West. They make the media themselves – they create them and they say lies. And based on those lies they take political positions. And at the same time they insist that others should believe them.
JS: Let’s take a story in The Times [of London this morning. They say that bin Laden’s wife lives here in Iran — is that true? Is that a lie or is that true? That one of Bin Laden’s wives lives here in a compound outside Tehran with some family. Is that true or false?”
AH: Why should it be in London? How did they receive that information? Let me…
JS: But you haven’t answered me yes or no, Mr President. However they found out this information, the questions is: is it true or is it false?
MA: Let me tell you something else which is more important. Because there are many things like that — they are producing these things everyday. Because this is the instrument to control the world, they create these things everyday and wise people would never waste time answering all these things.
JS: How do you change that?
MA: Statesmen in the UK and the US must accept the realities in the world. The period of influence in the environment through the media campaigns is over. And we know everything about these tactics and policies. We would never be deceived by media campaigns. It has no value to us. We will never base our time on that. For example, about Neda Agha-Soltan. What has the BBC done about her? They created a false scenario based on political campaigns and it has been proven to us. That was a lie…