Iranian president slams U.S., Israel

By Xinhua

New York : Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused on Monday Israel of occupation and racism while attacking U.S. policy of hegemony.

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“We do not recognize that regime (Israel) because it is based on occupation and racism. It constantly attacks its neighbors,” Ahmadinejad said in a video news conference from New York with the National Press Club in Washington.

“It kills people. It drives people from their homes,” said Ahmadinejad citing recent Israeli military action in Syria and Lebanon.

On the United States, the Iranian leader said “We oppose the way the U.S. government tries to manage the world. We think this method is wrong. It leads to war, discrimination and bloodshed.”

He criticized report from the United States and Britain about possible attack on Iran, saying talk of war against his country was “propaganda.”

“We think that talk of war is a propaganda tool. Why is there aneed for a war?” he asked.

Iran has been in tense relationship with both Israel and the United State for decades.

The United States has been accusing Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of its nuclear program. There were reports that the Pentagon has made a plan to destroy Iran’s military within three days if a war between the two countries breaks out.

In response to the reports, Ahmadinejad said in an interview with local media that “That is not how I see it … I believe that some of the talk in this regard arises first of all from anger. Secondly, it serves the electoral purposes domestically in this country. Third, it serves as a cover for policy failures over Iraq.”

On Iran’s foreign policy, he said Iran always maintains a defensive policy and has “never sought to expand its territory.”

“Iran will not attack any country,” he said. His remarks apparently referred to Israel, which he said should be “wiped off the map.”

On disputed Iran’s nuclear program, Ahmadinejad said Iran was working with UN nuclear inspectors, noting “our activities are legal and for peaceful purposes.”

He said in a CBS television interview broadcast on Sunday night that Iran did not need nuclear weapons and his country was not heading for war with the United States.

In his latest remarks, the Iranian leader also denied once again U.S. charges that Iran was providing advanced weapons to Iraq’s Shiite extremists to fight against American troops in the country.

“We think, in fact, the (U.S.) military should seek an answer to its defeat in Iraq elsewhere,” he said, insisting Tehran wanted a stable Iraq on its border.