Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Ahmadinejad sits down with USA TODAY

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke to USA TODAY's Barbara Slavin in an hour-long interview Saturday that touched on U.S.-Iranian relations, the Holocaust and Iran's nuclear aspirations:

UT: Foreign diplomats tell me that the brain drain is increasing and Iranian applications for visas for the West are up 20-50%?

Ahmadinejad: The information I have is the contrary. There always has been travel back and forth.

UT: I hear that $200 billion in Iranian funds has fled to Dubai in recent months?

Ahmadinejad: We have relations with neighboring countries. There is investment back and forth. Dubai is a free trade area. It is natural that many Iranians go there to make investments. What is important is that the result of their work comes back to Iran.

UT: Why do you say the things you do about Israel and the Holocaust when it only upsets people and further isolates Iran?

Ahmadinejad: ...One day they (the Israelis) used to utter the slogan of the "Nile to the Euphrates." It means they have a larger plan to aggress other nations of the region.

UT: But Israel withdrew from Gaza last September?

Ahmadinejad: They had no choice. They were forced to. Isn't the question of Palestine the most important issue in the region?

UT: A lot of Iranians would say no.

Ahmadinejad: Apart from those Iranians you mention, the most important problem facing the region is Palestine. This regime (Israel) was founded on the basis of propaganda regarding the Holocaust.

If you still feel like reading the whole interview, click here.