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Ahmadinejad on Diplomacy

16 Oct 2009 06:546 Comments

Ahmadinejad talks about his UN performance

In a recent interview with state television, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad discusses diplomacy and his trip to New York to address a mostly empty General Assembly.

Interviewer: Dr. Ahmadinejad, you've attended the annual UN General Assembly five times now. You articulated the Islamic Republic's perspectives and positions [there], and even raised the issue of [Iran's stake in] global management. Some maintain that your presence there has borne positive outcomes. But critics hold that your presence there has not only failed to win favor, but has actually been damaging [for Iran], as every time [your speeches] prompted one or several countries to walk out of the session. What is your response to this critical view? And secondly, given the responses to your behavior at the General Assembly so far, how determined are you in continuing in this manner?

Ahmadinejad: Public diplomacy is currently the best form of diplomacy. A country can take its views forth only by securing global public opinion. Diplomacy means using every opportunity to connect with the masses. Which tribune is best suited to do so than that of the United Nations? It is a global tribune; when you speak there, you are speaking to the world -- not just a couple delegations sitting there. If four or five people walk out, that's not important. It's natural that people should walk in and out of a chamber seating hundreds of people. What's important is that you say something at an official global tribune and the world listens, and your words are recorded there as a document for everyone.

Interviewer: But these delegations [that walked out] represent the world powers [whose opinions] hold much sway.

Ahmadinejad: So what? The people of their countries are listening -- and the delegates themselves listen [outside the chamber] as well. So [the walkouts] do not matter. I, however, have no problem hearing others out. I sat through Mr. Bush's speeches, and Mr. Obama's too, even though I could have listened to them from outside the chamber or read the texts. But I wanted to get a sense of their persons. When you hear a speech in person, you get a better understanding of the speaker's intention. Also, I wanted to show that I have no problem whatsoever in listening to others.

As far as the effects [of my addresses], they are plainly visible. Look at Mr. Obama's speech this year -- I think a large part of it was inspired by the stance of the Iranian nation. He admitted to the wrongs that previous US administrations had committed -- well, that's just what we've been saying for thirty years! So for [the US] to own up to their wrong ways is a success for Iran.

Also take a look at global media during the General Assembly. Perhaps 80 percent of the headlines concerned the stance of the Iranian nation. Many commentators are writing and analyzing Iran's positions on issues. This is because our positions are clear. We address the roots of inadequacies in the world, and we show a path that is harmonious with human nature. Therefore, Iran's presence is very influential, and if it's not as effective as we'd like it to be, that means we need to increase our presence at global forums and present our views and debate and connect with others.

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One has to admit he exudes confidence when he speaks unlike other Muslim leaders, except perhaps for Erdogan of Turkey. He is not afraid of taking the bull by its horns. I think if Iranians of both factions can effect a national reconciliation plan and come together they can be a very powerful voice and leader for the developing countries of Asia, Africa and South America which are critically lacking in advancing their causes for the dismantling of the unfair global trade system that hugely disadvantages these countries and perpetuates poverty within their regions.

rezvan / October 17, 2009 3:21 AM

He exudes bullshit! That is not a virtue rezvan.

Cyrus / October 17, 2009 8:20 AM

I give him no credit whatsoever. He brings shame to the Iranian people and Iran. His views on world affairs makes no sense and his calls to wipe Isreal of the map is merely to divert media attention away from internal political tension in Iran as well. His outright denial of the holocaust is the biggest joke the century! Surely, he must have at least heard that there was a huge demonstration outside the UN building calling for his removal as the President of Iran. How can then one, say that his performance in the recent UNAG was beneficial to Iran. Listening to him, makes me sick!

The Cat / October 17, 2009 2:56 PM

I agree with rezvan.

You may disagree with Ahmadinejad's politics and policies, but what he has articulated here is basically sound.

And the fact that he stayed and listened to Bush and Obama, actually affirms a sense of the moral high ground.

Pirouz / October 17, 2009 4:01 PM

He says 4-5 people left the room before he spoke at the UN general assembly, and people like Pirouz say that what he says is "basically sound"! Simply compare the room when AN was speaking with when Obama was speaking to get an idea of how sound this guy is. His mind is not concerned with reality. As for the "average people of the world" and "public diplomacy", I urge Pirouz and Rezvan to take a look at the global public opinion polls that consistently rate AN as the most despised global politician among international public opinion.

Cyrus / October 18, 2009 7:24 AM

It's just that no one really trusts him in America…at least I don’ t, and the American Media sure doesn’t either…how would he respond to that. He wants Nuclear Weapons and we don't trust him to have them.

Matthew / October 22, 2009 9:31 AM