Ahmadinejad: 9/11 scenario dubious
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Western media hyped the September 11, 2001 attacks to pave the way for the US-led invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.
"What was the story behind September 11? In the space of five to six days, and with the aid of the media, they swayed public opinion to the point of considering an attack on Afghanistan and Iraq permissible and a right [for themselves]," he said in a televised speech.
The president went on to add that while 3,000 deaths had been announced, no report containing the names of these victims had been released.
"Presently, more than 110,000 people [have been killed] in Afghanistan and over one million people have been killed across Iraq. But they will not allow [the figures to be made public]. How? [By] using media and fabricated news," he was quoted by IRIB as saying.
The Iranian president made the remarks on Saturday at a ceremony in Tehran marking the eve of the National Press Day.
Ahmadinejad said Western media had enabled the US to mount its campaign against Iran's nuclear program.
He said that the media had helped the US which has amassed thousands of Atomic bombs to claim another country might move towards building an A-bomb.
Tehran argues that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency it has the right to peaceful nuclear technology.
Over the past few years Iran has been the subject of intense international scrutiny. High ranking Israeli and US officials backed by their respective media packs have led the charge of accusations. In recent days a bizarre series of events has left commentators wondering what is brewing underneath the surface. The events include a rocket attack in Eilat and Aqaba; skirmishes between the IOF and Lebanese army which left four dead and the confusion surrounding the supposed assassination attempt of the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.
More intriguing into the mix is the recent 'memorandum' sent to President Barack Obama in which former high ranking US intelligence officers have put forward a damning analysis of Israel's calculating actions with all the signs indicating it is planning a pre-emptive strike on Iran. The document warns Obama that Israel will embroil the US in another war where 'intelligence judgements are being fixed around policy' and could potentially lead to another foreign policy disaster.
The dubious rocket attacks in Aqaba and Eilat have yet again evoked a barrage of Israeli threats against Hamas and the Gaza Strip. Initially, both the Egyptian and Israeli officials claimed that the attacks were instigated by Hamas from the Gaza Strip; however after a Jordanian investigation it was found that the rockets were launched from the Egyptian Sinai. Whilst Egypt conducts its investigation into these claims, the contradictory details of events have left many questioning Israel's role in the affair. One official from Jordanian's opposition political party the Islamic Action Front (IAF) questions the limited damage in Eilat when five rockets were launched in both regions, but only caused significant damage and death in the Jordanian populated city of Aqaba, with limited damage to the Israeli Eilat city. He warned that these series of events were being used as a pretext to justify any retaliation on Israel's part and to "unsettle the safety and stability of Jordan and drag countries in the region to increase security coordination with 'Israel'." Israel's history has been riddled with such cases, as it had previously 'mounted provocations against its neighbors, in order to provoke a response that could be used to justify expansion of its borders'. Is this just another excuse to invade and bombard the Gaza Strip? Or, is it an attempt by Israel to distract international criticism for its failure to lift the blockade of Gaza after the flotilla massacre?
The skirmishes on the Lebanese/Israel border, which lead to four deaths have also been scrutinised. Confusing reports have emerged this past week as to who exactly was responsible for instigating the attack. IOF officials and Israeli MKs claim that Lebanese forces and Hizbullah had made a co-ordinated 'terror attack' against its forces. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) were accused of inaction as three Lebanese soldiers, a Lebanese journalist and one Israeli soldier were killed during the fire exchange. The Lebanese authorities accused the IOF of breaching a border fence and moving into the Adeissah village in southern Lebanon. Both the US and UK came out calling for restraint on both sides. But was this just another provocation from Israel to get the Lebanese army to react? Provoking a reaction from the Lebanese army will more than likely draw Hizbullah into battle with devastating consequences for the region. And what of Syria? A long term ally of both Hizbullah and Iran, Syria may see no alternative but to join forces with them against Israel. Moreover this will mean the US would be forced into a war that it has no desire for but would, at the same time, be 'politically untenable' for it to not support Israel.
Meanwhile, the Iranian President recently claimed he believed he was on an Israeli hit list and was sure there would be assassination attempts made to force regime change in Iran. A few days later there was a flurry of media activity after some Iranian news outlets mistranslated 'firecracker' into 'grenade' and for a moment the international media were entranced by the news that Ahmedinejad had escaped an assassination attempt. There is now mounting speculation in the political arena as to what will trigger a probable war if Obama does not pull in the reins and publicly condemns Israel for escalating tensions in the Middle East. What has somewhat frustrated Israel more than any thing else is the fact that Iran is not making it any easier for it to make this pre-emptive strike having recently agreed to a tripartite deal, brokered by Turkey and Brazil (with the US's 'personal encouragement'), that would see half of Iran's low enriched uranium move outside Tehran's control. A recent announcement made by the US that it would be resuming talks with its Iranian counterparts to discuss ways to halt uranium enrichment to 20 per cent, enough for medical research, to which Iran is ready to agree to, has weakened Israel's scaremongering campaign that Iran is arming itself with nuclear weapons. The only way to counter this is by 'striking Iran sooner than later', making it impossible for the US to avoid military confrontation with Iran.
The memorandum ends predicting a serious global backlash against Israel and the rise in anti-Semitism within the US, as once again US forces will be thrown into a war under false pretences by the warmongering pro-Israelis in the US Senate.
It is high time that Obama takes hold of the reins. Any pre-emptive attack on Iran will no doubt mean the US would drag the US into another war of choice to support Israel's military and political objectives. Will Obama allow Netanyahu to make a fool out of another American president? We will soon find out the answer.
The Iranian government has upped its boycott of Israeli goods, saying it will closely monitor the enforcement of a ban on Israeli products.
“No state- or non-state-owned company is allowed to sell Israeli products in the Islamic republic and the government closely monitors the matter,” said Iran's Vice President for Parliamentary Affairs Hojjatoleslam Mohammad-Reza Mir-Tajeddini.
Speaking at a conference titled "Popular Intifada and Boycotting Israeli Goods" late Thursday, Mir-Tajeddini condemned the "occupying nature" of the Israeli regime, IRNA reported.
He said that the only thing standing in the way of the regime attacking Middle East nations to realize its dream of an Israeli homeland stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates is the Islamic resistance.
The Iranian official added that Israel's policies are facing growing international condemnation an example of which was the global outcry against the deadly attack on a Turkish-flagged aid convoy on May 31 and the recent reaction of the Lebanese army to the border violation of Israeli soldiers.
Quoting the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei, Mir-Tajeddini said purchasing any Israeli commodities and contributing to Israeli interests is forbidden.
“Existing laws on boycotting Israeli products are not comprehensive,” said Mir-Tajeddini, adding that the 'ministries of commerce, foreign affairs and intelligence as well as a judiciary institution would need to give their opinion on new companies so that necessary action can be taken against them by the government.'
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday he was ready for face-to-face talks with his US counterpart Barack Obama on "global issues."
"We are hopefully coming for the UN assembly," Ahmadinejad said in an address to expatriate Iranians which was broadcast live on state television. "We are ready to sit down with Mr Obama face-to-face and put the global issues on the table, man-to-man, freely, and in front of the media and see whose solutions are better. We think this is a better approach."
Ahmadinejad is expected to travel to New York for the UN General Assembly meeting next month.
Ahmadinejad criticized Obama for missing "historic opportunities" to repair relations with Iran, with whom the United States has had no direct diplomatic ties for more than 30 years. "He (Obama) said he wants to make changes and we welcomed (that). Unfortunately, he did not correctly exploit historic opportunities," the president said, adding that Obama "overly values Zionists."
Ahmadinejad said he was informed that Obama "is under a lot of pressure." "Somebody should answer questions whether the US government is dominated by the Zionists or the Zionist regime is controlled by the US government."
In a cabinet meeting on Sunday Ahmadinejad condemned the recent sanctions by the UN Security Council, the US and the EU against his country. “The nature of sanctions on Iran is a political game.” He said that the enemies of the country and arrogant powers are opposed to a developed Iran “since it can break their delusions of grandeur.” He added that “the enemies are plotting to portray Iran as a weak country” through what he called theatrics, aimed at “convincing the nation to back down.”
Iranian president further stressed that “it is a false belief that Tehran can ease pressures by retreating,” adding the nation “must take advantage of such threats and propaganda and turn them into opportunities.”
Despite Western-imposed sanctions targeting Iran's energy and financial sectors, Ahmadinejad told senior managers in Iran’s oil industry that the Islamic Republic is capable of meeting its needs at home. "We believe that all parts related to Iran's oil industry can be produced inside the country. We hope to promise that all needs of the oil industry will be met inside Iran within the next few years," Ahmadinejad said in the meeting on Monday.
He called on oil officials to "complete the process of nationalization of Iran's oil industry." "Iran's oil industry will be completely nationalized when all oil production procedures and its turning into goods with added value will be carried out in the country."
Ahmadinejad praised nationalization of Iran's oil industry as among greatest events in the country's history. "This decision did not have only political aspects while it had influence on the destiny of Iran and many other countries in the region," he said.
"However, the process has not been completed yet because two factors make the oil industry being influenced by foreign powers," he went on to say.
President Ahmadinejad pointed out that oil prices are still under the influence of foreign powers which are major oil customers and added that current oil prices are not real.
The remarks came less than a week after the 27-member European bloc adopted new tougher measures against Tehran, which includes a ban on investment in Iran's oil and gas industry by member states as well as investment and technical assistance to the country's refining, liquefaction and natural gas sectors.
The punitive measure goes beyond a fourth round of UN Security Council sanctions imposed last month, targeting Iran's oil and gas sectors.
US Dictator Barack Obama (L) & Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The White House has rejected a call from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for face-to-face talks with his US counterpart Barack Obama.
"We have always said that we'd be willing to sit down and discuss Iran's illicit nuclear program, if Iran is serious about doing that," AFP quoted White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs as saying on Tuesday.
"To date, that seriousness has not been there," he added.
Gibbs, however, held the door open to US-Iran talks as the State Department saw signs that Iran may now be seeking a dialogue with Tehran under the pressure of "new sanctions."
Also, US State Department Spokesman Philip Crowley said, "Iran may now be seeking a dialogue with Washington because it is feeling the bite of sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council, the United States, European Union and others."
"The cost of doing business for Iran is going up," Crowley said.
His comments come as Tehran has repeatedly declared that it will not relinquish the legitimate nuclear rights of the Iranian nation under Western pressure.
"We're encouraged by what we're seeing... We sense that there may well be a willingness on the part of Iran to enter into the kind of dialogue that we have long sought," he added.
"We are willing to meet Iran any time any place within the P5-plus-1," he concluded, referring to the US, Britain, Russia, France, China and Germany.
On Monday, Ahmadinejad criticized Obama for missing "historic opportunities" to repair the broken relations with Iran and expressed readiness to meet him for face-to-face talks based on justice and mutual respect.
In an address to a gathering of Iranian expatriates in Tehran, Ahmadinejad said that he is ready to hold talks with Obama at the end of September, when he plans to go to New York to attend the UN General Assembly.
"We are ready to sit down with Mr. Obama face-to-face and put the global issues on the table, and see whose solutions are better. We think this is a better approach," Ahmadinejad said.
The Iranian president went on to say that he is ready to hold talks with President Obama "in front of the media" at the end of September, when he plans to go to New York to attend the UN General Assembly, Mehr News Agency reported.