By Michael Jarlner in Teheran
Iran will be using the Climate Summit to further its argument for its nuclear programme, according to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in his first exclusive interview with a Danish newspaper since he came to power.
“I believe that nuclear energy is a good replacement for fossil fuel, just as other forms of sustainable energy like the sun and wind are too,” says Ahmadinejad in an interview in the heart of his presidential palace in Teheran.
“This is not just about Iran. It is good for all countries to have access to this technology,” he says.
His statements come at a time when the clerics in Iran have not yet been able to stop the violent domestic tensions that followed the controversial re-election as president of the strongly religious Ahmadinejad.
They also come at a time when the international community is threatening Iran with new sanctions in an increasingly dramatic international power game over the Iranian nuclear programme that Western intelligence agencies believe will be used to produce nuclear weapons.
Iran has hitherto rejected the claim, and in his interview with Politiken, Ahmadinejad further rejects the notion.
“We don’t need nuclear bombs,” he says and denies that Iran could increase its security by having nuclear weapons at its disposal – irrespective of the fact that it is surrounded by international powder kegs such as Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey.
“Those who believe that nuclear weapons provide political strength are mentally deranged,” Ahmadinejad retorts with a string of rhetorical questions.
“Did nuclear weapons save the Soviet Union? No. Have nuclear weapons been able to secure the United States stability in Iraq and Afghanistan? Have nuclear weapons been able to secure peace for the Zionist regime in Gaza? No. They have become useless weapons in our modern age,” President Ahmadinejad says.
Ahmadinejad will be arriving in Copenhagen with his delegation tomorrow and will be presenting two messages to the Climate Summit: That nuclear programmes like Iran’s can help reduce CO2 emissions, and that the rich countries must shoulder a great responsibility in mitigating climate change.
“75 percent of pollution comes from a small group of countries who are now going to have to find themselves under international regulation. They must take the responsibility for creating a healthy climate in the world,” Ahmadinejad says.
Up to the Climate Summit, the Iranian president has had contacts with the leaders of the main developing nations such as Brazil’s President Lula and Venezuela’s fiery Hugo Chavez, both of whom will be coming to Copenhagen to fight the cause of the developing nations.
Several days ago, the American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged South American leaders to ‘think twice’ before becoming too attached to the Iranian government, which she says supports and furthers international terrorism.
Ahmadinejad shakes his head.
“The United States must learn to live within its own borders. Who has actually said that the United States should rule the whole world?”