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Ahmadinejad (R) with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
Photo: AP
Ahmadinejad: Israel won't dare attack us
In interview with Spanish newspaper during visit to South America, Iranian president says, 'They are aware of Iran's strength. I believe they won't do such a stupid thing.' He reiterates Israel will vanish 'like Soviet Union,' doubts Holocaust
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is visiting South America, said in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo that Israel and its allies would not dare attack his country.

 

The remarks were made after Ahmadinejad was asked to refer to a British report that Israel plans to strike sites related to Iran's nuclear program.

 

"They are aware of Iran's strength. I believe they will not do such a stupid thing, and its masters won't as well… Everyone knows that the Zionist regime has nuclear weapons while Iran abides by the international laws," the Iranian president said.

 

"This regime wants to hurt the Iranian people," Ahmadinejad added. "They have many dreams but they are not so strong."

 

Ahmadinejad was asked in the interview whether he wants to see Israel destroyed, but failed to provide a direct answer. He referred in his answer to things he said in the past about Israel being wiped off the map "like the Soviet Union was wiped off the map."

 

"Where is the Soviet Union? It vanished," the president said. "We are not interested in war, we are only trying to solve the problem called the Zionist regime, which is the source of hatred."

 

In the interview, Ahmadinejad once again expressed his doubts over the Holocaust's existence.

 

"If the Holocaust indeed took place, where did it take place? Why are the Palestinians to blame?" He said, reiterating his stance that what Europe's Jews went through during World War II did not justify the theft of Palestinian lands by Israel.

 

Iranian official: Sanctions won't affect nuclear plan

The Iranian president visited South America while the international community is attempting to turn its back on him and limit the ties with him in light of the sanctions imposed on Tehran by the United Nations Security Council.

 

Senior Iranian officials, however, have claimed once again that the sanctions would not harm the progress of Iran's nuclear program, particularly in the area of uranium enrichment.

 

Mohammad Saidi, the deputy director of Iran's Atomic Energy Agency, said Wednesday that "Iran's nuclear program is progressing according to the timetable, and the Security Council decision has no affect on it."

 

News agencies in Iran reported that according to Saidi, the progress made by Tehran in its efforts to obtain nuclear energy was "a miracle which only happened with the help of God."

 

Saidi also referred to the possibility that western states would attack his country's nuclear facilities, saying that "Iran is prepared for any situation, but it is not likely that this will happen."

 

It has recently been reported that Iran's nuclear program was suffering from delays and malfunctions which are preventing it from meeting its objectives. Addressing this issue, Saidi said that Iran was close to the point in which it would be able to produce heavy water and expressed his hope that in the future Iran "would also be able to export in this field to other countries."

 

However, he stressed that Iran opposed nuclear weapons and that he believes it would "harm the country."

 

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