17 June 2009

"Have you seen?"

Another long entry. This is a copyrighted work and may not be reproduced without permission. I would like to say something first about methods.

A way of thinking about things cannot support itself on its own. As a generalization it is always open to attack and so it weakens things that depend on it. The correct way to use different methods of thought is as a sort of base structure, that lets you predict where things should fit and how they should relate. Once you find the congruence to a situation, those things must be connected in your mind directly, without the benefit of any theories or predictions of how certain connections will allow you to think a certain way.

Tehran -- Islamic Republic of Iran News Network Television (IRINN) in Persian 1058 GMT 14 Jun 09

[News conference given by Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinezhad after presidential elections -- live]

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. I thank God for once again demonstrating Iran's dignity and might before the eyes of the world. In Iran, elections carry a lot of meaning. First, elections are a genuine process and to be honest, the people rule Iran. The people's choice is a free and genuine selection. The people's vote governs Iran. The most overwhelming election of the contemporary era was held on Friday [12 June] in Iran. In Iran the people decide who to vote for. No one can make the people their followers. The people's vote does not follow a specific current or political leaning. On the contrary, it reflects the determination and will of the nation.

During recent months, the whole of Iran was filled with excitement, enthusiasm and awareness. Every individual not only felt that they owned the vote, but also they viewed participation in the election as a national and social duty. Two issues were of significance to our people. First, an enthusiastic presence on the election scene, the strengthening of the pillars of national power, and more hope in the future, Second, the election of a person who can pursue their wishes and ideals more efficiently.

From another angle, the Iranian election is a new model of democracy based on moral ethics and human and divine values. Liberal democracy is a democracy which has put aside ethics, and deprives society of two essential factors. The first factor is the people and their role. As you can see in countries which follow liberal democracy, a few parties with a specific number of members rule the people. The people have no choice but to vote for them. In fact, it is the people who are placed on the sidelines, and politics becomes a profession and exclusive to a few people.

The second factor which is put aside, are values and morals. Humanity and mankind will die in a place where there are no moral ethics and values and oppression, discrimination, class differences, wars, and aggression will take shape. Global problems are rooted in the fact that moral ethics are omitted from political relations between various liberal democratic systems. In Iran, democracy is based on and promotes ethics. This is why we are witnessing that after 30 years since the establishment of the Islamic Republic, the people's influence is much deeper and prevalent than what it was at the beginning. In comparison to 30 years ago, ethics have flourished and spread further into our society.
You can see that the Iranian nation is a nation with grand ideals and goals. The Iranian nation is committed to and has faith in divine and humane values. The Iranian nation is a noble, independent and knowledgeable nation. The Iranian nation supports righteousness, truth and justice. The Iranian nation despises deceptions, lies, oppression and injustice. Our nation is modest and is content with its right. It has never attacked other countries or yearned for others' rights. At the same time, it has resisted bullying and arrogance powerfully. The Iranian nation is a brave nation. It has never been and will not be intimidated by threats. Our nation is a nation with morals and distances itself from political and economic callousness.

Our nation is a dear and powerful nation. It will not trade its dignity with anything. The Iranian nation wishes progress for itself and for all world nations. Of course, it will resist those who try to block its progress. The Iranian nation believes that the systems which have arisen from the Second World War are worn-out systems which are anti-human rights. They have to go to the archive of history. Today, the world is in need of new systems which are based on human values, justice, friendship, equal rights and respect for the rights of all nations and people. Today, everyone must join hands to set up a humane system in the world. The era in which a few countries could determine the fate of other nations has come to an end. The era in which a few governments could impose their demands and illegitimate interests on a huge part of the world has come to an end. Today, everyone must have an equal and fair share in managing world affairs. It is impossible to run world affairs without the involvement of all world countries. The doors have to be opened so that every country will be able to make a constructive contribution to managing the world affairs. Today, the Iranian nation's method of managing a country is a role model. It is a model of religious democracy based on human values and ethics. This model can be presented to the whole world.

During these elections, our nation was faced with a widespread psychological war and propaganda by some of mass media which have not learned from the past. I remember that four years ago, some Western media affiliated to the hegemonic system and the capitalist system which lacks culture, adopted a stance against our nation and used their false propaganda and psychological warfare to try and divert our nation from its shining and enlightened path. They even tried to undermine the great and historic action taken by our nation for some time after the elections. Today, I can see that in some places there are people who have not learned their lesson from the past. Of course, some governments are making other claims. We don't deny these claims. But these claims are not our only criteria. On the contrary, we have to see what has happened in practice. Some made a grave mistake. They expected our nation to surrender to the propaganda they were carrying out. Today, they are following the same line. They are making a mistake. I advise them to not only understand that the world is in need of change, but also understand the fact that the world cannot be managed in this way. They should also understand that the Iranian nation is vigilant and has realized what they are up to and is moving at a higher level than they are. The Iranian nation is trying to rebuild Iran. The Iranian nation is trying to elevate Iran to the level and position which befits it. The Iranian nation is trying to reform the world's political environment to one which is based on respect and justice. We are pursuing the setting up of sustainable peace and security based on respect, justice and righteousness. It is clear that under such circumstances the Iranian nation will not officially recognize any unilateral relations based on bullying. The Iranian nation's election showed that its idealistic, ideological, and civilization-building movement is very deep-rooted. This election was mainly directed by the third and fourth generations. This means that today the awakening, self-confidence, and self-belief which appeared in the first generation 30 years ago, is much more deep-rooted and widespread in the hearts, thoughts, will, and actions of the third generation. The Iranian nation is a turning point in contemporary history. It is a model of national rule and how people govern their own fate. It is a model of human relations which is based on friendship, love, respect and justice. Iran's election, which was met with the participation of more than 84 per cent of eligible voters, was a great epic and a firm blow to the oppressive foundations of the system which is ruling the world. The Iranian nation showed that today, it is more resolute in, and committed to, following the path outlined by the Imam [Khomeyni], the martyrs, and the grand ideals of the revolution. The Iranian nation has shown that it still interested in logic, constructive interaction, fair talks based on respect. Most definitely it will not allow others to determine its fate. I would like to thank you and I would like to hear your questions. [The correspondents applaud the president]

[Moderator] Thank you. I think it is essential to mention a few points before we start the process of asking the questions. This press conference is simultaneously being broadcast live by press TV, Al-Alam, State nationwide radio and the International News Network [IRINN]. The set deadline for ending our program today is 1700 [1230 GMT] and since the president has another engagement, we beg [each correspondent] to ask only one question because of our time limit. We try to observe the priorities that have been previously set. We ask the [correspondent from the] Islamic Republic News Agency [IRNA] to ask their question. The News Network [IRINN] correspondent should be ready to follow.

[IRNA correspondent]: In the name of God, my greetings and congratulations to you on gaining the second confidence vote of the Iranian nation. In your interview with IRINN, you said that the agenda of the tenth government will be in proportion with the vast participation of people [in the elections] and their votes to the president. If it is possible, please tell us what will be the probable differences between the plans of the tenth and ninth governments?

[Ahmadinezhad] Thank you very much. As I said then, today, we all believe that the potential of Iranians are huge and extensive. Iran's nation has the potential and ability to make big decisions and to take huge steps in a variety of domains. In the first term, [the emphasis was on] the development of infrastructure and it is very obvious that in the second term we move towards the development of various cultural, economic and political aspects. The people of Iran showed that they deserve to have a high status in the world. It is clear that a government derived from the nation has to quite seriously follow the fulfillment of the nation's wish. [We will follow] the construction of the whole of Iran on the basis of justice and the complete removal of obstacles on the way of the progress of the nation, especially those on the way of the young generations. [We will follow] the pursuit of justice in all domains and the unconditional implementation of justice for every individual of any ethnicity and social class. This is our obvious agenda for the future.

[IRNA correspondent] Thank you.

[Moderator] The International News Network. BBC Arabic correspondent, be ready to follow.

[IRINN correspondent] In the name of God. Greetings to you, Dr Ahmadinezhad. My congratulations to you. I ask for your permission to say hello to all the respectful viewers of IRINN, those who are inside the country and those who live abroad, all the viewers who are watching live interviews with the president conducted by the domestic and foreign correspondents. Mr President, foreign media have been watchfully pursuing the elections since months ago and at every juncture, by resorting to certain strategies of their own, they have tried to create an atmosphere of despair and to make people believe that the Islamic Republic system was incompetent. At the same time that the results of the election were released, once more [the foreign media] created an atmosphere against the Islamic Republic by casting doubts on the health of the elections. In your opinion what is the reason for this [negative propaganda] and what answer can be given to them.

[Ahmadinezhad] The answer is obvious. I mentioned before that they did the same thing in the previous election. Of course, they have acted similarly over the last 30 years. They believe in a democracy [democratic election] whose results are in their favor and if people make a decision which is against their wishes, they are naturally upset; and they have no way to express their anger but this [by creating adverse atmosphere.] What do they have to say? It is not known with what justification they cast doubt over the magnificent presence of the Iranian nation [in the election]. Around 40 million people participated in the election. The election system in Iran is very exact and precise. Since the election belongs to people, the process of holding and monitoring it are carried out by people themselves. The members of the polling stations across the whole country are the very members of the public. The observers are the local trustees whom people know and trust. And the hierarchy [of the officials] is the same. The Election HQ has been just in charge of providing the preparations. In other words, it supports the management of holding the election which is conducted by people. This is explicitly stated in the text of our election law. The executive and monitoring bodies consist of people. The election belongs to people. I am surprised to see that an election which belonged to people - was held by them and 40 million individuals participated in it - is questioned. Which part of it are they going to question? We have an election law. Let them come forward and tell us which article [of the law has been violated] and where? I have not yet seen anyone who can present any evidence. They just say that the results were contrary to their expectations. Well, you have to change your expectations. You do not know the Iranian nation. Revise your attitude. What you do in spreading false propaganda is like what [the satirical figure] Molla Nasreddin did: Nasreddin once wanted to get rid of a fellow. He told him people were handing out free soup at the other side of the market. The good news traveled fast and every one hurried to get free soup. While Nasreddin was standing and watching, he saw that people were all running to get free soup. He asked a passer-by: What is going on? The man answered: Haven't you heard that free soup is being handed out at the other side of the market? Nasreddin reflected a bit on the answer and wondered: Maybe it is true. Let's go and see for ourselves.

Now some of the Western media and countries act like Nasreddin. They say something on their own, then they repeat it and start to believe it and finally they act and make judgments on the basis of their belief. The path of our nation is very clear. These statements belong to three and four decades ago. The answer of our people to these statements is very clear. Those forty million who participated in the elections are present now. Those 25 million individuals who voted for me are present now. And at any juncture in the future, they repeat their heroic action. This is the nature of the Iranian nation. Of course I believe that all the forty million individuals who cast their votes, are against the intervention of foreign media in Iran's domestic issues. And all of them will say no to these [foreign media].

[IRINN correspondent] Thank you.

[Moderator] Mr Muhammad Nun from BBC Arabic; the next correspondent will be from Keyhan newspaper, Mr Moqaddm.

[Muhammad Nun] Hello. I express my greetings to you dear Mr President and all the dear participants. My question is about the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the second round of your presidency. You know that US President Barack Obama admits that Iran has a right to peaceful nuclear energy. You also announced recently that you are ready to have a debate with US President Barack Obama. My question is: May we expect talks between Iran and America in near future? What are the practical measures that you expect America to take to normalize the relations?

[Ahmadinezhad] We have already announced our position. We are however reviewing the positions taken by countries concerning the elections. We are reviewing their behavior towards our people. I announced a month ago that I am ready for a debate.

Concerning the nuclear issue, I think that the nuclear issues belongs to the past We call for a global consensus on nuclear disarmament. Based on our experience, we have announced our readiness to participate in managing this issue."

At the same time, I believe that there are many important issues in the world that need to be settled based on logic, justice and respect. Iran is a powerful country with great influence in world political affairs. We are ready to use all our power to address world challenges and bring about sustainable peace and security based on justice and respect.

[Moderator] Thank you. Mr Moqaddam from Keyhan newspaper, and then Fars News Agency correspondent.

[Moqaddam] I congratulate you on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Zahra [Prophet Muhammad's daughter], the anniversary of the late imam [Khomeyni] and your victory in the elections. We hope that we can carry on with implementing our sacred principle-ist goals in the upcoming four years.

Mr President, I wanted to ask two questions this time. Because whenever I ask my question and leave, I then realize that others have all asked two questions.

I am wearing Ahmadinezhad-type overcoat today, even though it does not have sleeves.

[Ahmadinezhad] So, it is a bit short of Ahmadinezhad's overcoat.

[Moqaddam] My question might be a bit disturbing. We should be happy at this epic moment created by 24.5m people.

Mr Hashemi-Rafsanjani's destructionist letter addressed to the supreme leader of the revolution once again reminded us of Mr Montazeri's insulting adventure and his disloyalty to the imam [Khomeyni]. In the same connection, we see that two of your rival candidates have not yet congratulated the winning candidate. At the same time, by issuing provocative, insulting and destructive statements, they are attempting to create another 18 Tir [9 July] incident [students rebellion at their dormitory]. The only difference is that because of their weak strategy, as well as your shrewdness, the major elements in this plot, who were in the shade until yesterday, are now exposed.

Since you are going to be the president for another term, I wanted to know what measures you are going to adopt to keep the situation under control. At present when I am talking to you, they [supporters of other candidates] are holding hidden meetings to continue the riots of these days.

[Ahmadinezhad] Thank you very much. I should announce that during the Friday [12 June] elections the nation was victorious, i.e. 70m people were victorious, and 40m people were even more victorious.

I am sure that if the rest of the 70m people had the chance to take part in the elections they would have done so. This is an Iranian characteristic. The Iranian nation is among the most sociable, political-minded and committed nations in the world.
It is not really important now that some are objecting and questioning the elections' result. This is natural. Some individuals had had a campaign with the hope of being elected. They may now become a bit disappointed. They may react by writing certain letters and saying certain things.

During the last round of the [presidential] elections, they [rival presidential candidates] were the organizers of the elections. At the same time, they were objecting to the result of the elections. We believe this [their objection] lacks legal basis and our nation believes the same. This time, there will not be much problem either.

This is like a football match. Some 50,000 to 70,000 spectators take part in a football match. They become excited and then they take certain measures. Here we had a competition in which 40m people participated. The people were in the field. I believe that such level of unrest is not important. The government will carry on with its work with tolerance.

The freedom in Iran is close to absolute. You see that people express themselves freely. They even question what they have already done themselves. This is not important.

What is important is that everything should be dealt with through its legal procedure. This is what the Iranian nation will respect. If someone has seen any problems or shortcomings, the law has envisaged how to deal with it. They can submit their objections of any shortcomings to the Guardian Council until to the end of business today. The Guardian Council is an independent body. Experience has also shown that the Guardian Council expresses its views without compromise, and it will not consider anything but the text of the law and justice.

They may refer to the Guardian Council. Otherwise, talking to some media, issuing statements, etc will not solve any problem. Elections in Iran were held with the participation of close to 40m people. The result is quite clear. The gap between the votes is so wide that no-one can question it.

The elections themselves are indicative of the health and legality of the elections.

[Moderator] Fars news agency correspondent now and then Tokyo Shimbun newspaper correspondent.

[Fars correspondent] Thank you Mr President. I congratulate you for the 85 per cent participation of the people. I would also like to congratulate you for getting 24.5m votes.

Continuing the discussion about which you explained, there are reports that indicate that extremists and rioters today have decided to, with the cooperation of the EU , to have certain sit-ins. I want you to explain your views in this respect as well. Could you also tell us what the reaction of the Iranian nation would be in this regard?

[Ahmadinezhad] I doubt it that there is anyone in Iran that would like to follow foreigners to prove anything, because it will be useless.

The Iranian nation has shown that whenever foreigners interfere, the 70m Iranians will stand up to them in a united manner.

There may be various reports anyway. During the elections, there was absolute freedom. You realized that three candidates were competing against one, and they benefited from the national media [TV and radio] three times more than me.

According to the election law, campaigns should be carried out for 20 days, but since three months ago all my rivals' campaign activities were reported by the national media, and even the normal activities of the government were not reported because there was a doubt that they could be regarded as the president's campaign.

During the debates, the time allocated to my rivals was three times that of mine. This led to the enthusiasm of the people. In such an atmosphere, some individuals spread false reports and untrue rumors, and even accused others. The election is now done and gone. It is time for friendship, cooperation and building the country. There is no problem if some people are now interested in continuing the discussion. Such political discussions are always held in Iran. This is what goes on in a free country.

We have had an election in Iran which is considered to be a very important development, so it is natural that there would be such discussions for some time. I do not think that this is really important, or at least it does not cause any concern.

It is clear that our Judiciary will deal legally with those who will try to take any action in Iran based on foreign support.

[Fars correspondent] Some people were even attacked and some public property has been damaged.

[Ahmadinezhad] This is what sometimes happens. Some people are emotional. Like football fans, some think that their team should always win; and when it does not win, they claw at someone or other. One should not be that concerned anyway.

[Moderator] Tokyo Shimbun Newspapar correspondent, and then the Central News Agency reporter.

[Tokyo Shimbun newspaper in English] Thank you very much president and congratulations. My name is Luchida [as heard] from the Japanese Tokyo Shimbun. I want to ask you about the nuclear issue. Some Western media reported that US and Israel keep their military option [open to hit] your nuclear sites.

Have you ever imagined that some countries may attack your country and now do you think that you may face an attack in the next four years of your presidency? Thank you.

[Ahmadinezhad] I would like to ask you, who dares to do such a thing today? Who dares to think about it? This is what some media says. No power can even threaten Iran. The world's situation has changed. It is the nations' era. It is the era of intellect and logic. It is the era of major changes and reforms. This is while the Iranian nation is a powerful one.

It is true that Iran loves peace, justice and brotherhood, but everyone knows that it defends its interests powerfully and it will make those who threaten it regret it.

We believe that there is no possibility for anyone to make such a stupid mistake. So, you should not be worried. The world is moving towards justice and dialogue.

[Moderator] Mr Qorbaninezhad, Central News Unit correspondent and then Al-Alam international TV network.

[Qorbaninezhad] Hello Mr President. I congratulate you on your victory in the election and also the great victory of the Iranian nation for such an outstanding turnout in the elections.

In view of the end of your first presidential term, could you say what, based on your conclusions, special situation will prevail in the second round as compared to the first round.

[Ahmadinezhad] Thank you very much. I think that I have already responded to this question. Four years ago 29m people took part in the elections and this year close to 40m people turned out at the elections. The enthusiasm and the will of our nation are totally different from the previous round of elections. The approach of our nation to regional and international affairs is completely different today.

Iran is having a constructive and forward-looking approach that will add to its dignity. It is quite clear that the will of our nation in developing the country and removing the hurdles will quickly reach fruition.

Economic problems such as housing, employment, and marriage will be solved much faster and the creation of knowledge will gain speed. In four or five years we will not consider them problems in our country anymore. In the international arena, we will also play a constructive role in the interest of justice, peace and fraternity. These are the approaches of the upcoming government.

[Moderator] Thank you. Al-Alam TV channel correspondent and then Mr Robert Frisk from England.

[Al-Alam reporter] Thank you. I first of all congratulate you for your election. I believe that many people in the world are happy of your victory. My question is about your visit to Egypt. I was informed that you were supposed to take a trip to Egypt by the end of this month to take part in the non-aligned movement meeting. This would mean that you would be the first Iranian president visiting Egypt. Would this mean that you are taking a step to establish better relations with Egypt, as well as Arab countries?

[Ahmadinezhad] We have good relations with Arab countries. We have brotherly relations with them. There are however some ups and downs in our relations with some of them which are due to the interference of others. Otherwise, our nations are friends and brothers. Our major policy is to develop friendly and brotherly relations.

An Arab leader will be visiting Iran soon. I have also visited [Arab] countries. They have visited Iran several times. We exchange ministers as well.

I was interested in visiting Egypt. I made great efforts to set up relations with Egypt free from the domination of others. Some developments have now taken place, but we are not at the optimal situation.

I do not intend to take part in the non-aligned movement meeting, unless some new developments take place and I review my decision accordingly.

[Mediator] Mr Robert Fisk, The Independent newspaper, UK and then the Iran newspaper [correspondent] should be ready

[Robert Fisk] Mr Ahmadinezhad, Sir, Robert Fisk of The Independent. I want to ask you about the issue of justice, the issue that you've been talking about a lot. Some weeks ago, you know that a 22-year-old young woman was sentenced to execution in prison. She had allegedly killed someone, although there were doubts about this, and she was executed after two months. She was nevertheless dragged to the gallows screaming, pleading with her mother on the mobile phone to save her. And she was hanged. Can you give us a guarantee that such terrible events will be prevented by the Judiciary of the Iranian justice from ever happening again in the Islamic Republic of Iran?

[Ahmadinezhad] Basically we are against the execution of people. We are against killing people. We are even against killing an ant. But after all, the judiciary system of each country has its own regulations. In Britain, America and many other countries the penalty for execution has been predicted. We feel sad too when someone is executed. If you want the execution punishment to be removed, you have to do something so that no one will violate the law, and that they [people] would not commit crimes, the punishment of which is execution.

The judiciary system in Iran is an independent one, but of course since I am principally against human beings being killed, I try to create a social environment where no crime is committed and also urge the judiciary to act in a more sympathetic way. But as you know the judiciary system is completely independent, I think we should arrange a meeting among lawyers in order to discuss the philosophy of punishments. This can be a very good discussion at the international level. I think that our lawyers are ready to hold meetings with lawyers from the UK, Europe, Africa and Asia to discuss the matter and reach a logical result.

[Moderator] Thank you. Mr Javad Hojjati from Iran newspaper please. Reporter of Lavanguardia of Spain is next.

[Iran newspaper reporter] I congratulate you on the occasion of the birth of Zahra [daughter of Prophet Muhammad] and also the epic created by the nation on 22 Khordad [12 June presidential elections]. Mr Ahmadinezhad, some so-called experts claimed that a silent majority exists in the country which does not support the establishment [Islamic Republic]. However on the 22 Khordad we witnessed that this majority which was referred to as a "threat" entered the scene and voted for the person who was most committed to the establishment and its values. By casting their votes, in addition to sending a clear message to the foreign and domestic enemies of the establishment, people annulled allegations suggesting that the supporters of the establishment and the Principal-ists current had a specific quota for votes. I would like to have your analysis on this please. Thank you.

[Ahmadinezhad] Look, I think those people who sit down and analyze the Iranian nation based on their own understanding are making a mistake. They do not know the Iranian nation, this year we had 46 million people who were eligible to vote based on a report by the National Organization for Civil Registration, and the Statistics Organization. Well, nearly 40 million people participated. Does this mean that the six million and something people belong to the opposition? This is a very wrong thought. In no country in the world do we have 100 per cent participation. Some people are ill, some are working in fields, some are in airplanes, some are traveling, some cannot vote due to other reasons. In no place in the world does anyone invest in a non-existent entity and say that those who did not vote are my supporters. This is the most laughable claim that a politician can make. For example, imagine that in Germany 60 per cent participated in the elections, and a candidate say that the 40 per cent that have not participated are my supporters. Based on what logic? Compare this election with the previous one. In the previous election, about 29 million people participated and in these elections more than 39 million, meaning that we had an increase of about 11 million votes. The ratio of votes which were cast was the same as before. This means that 65-66 per cent of the new voters voted for the current government again. They do not know the nation. Some people, under certain circumstances, might not feel the urgency [to participate in elections] they might think well, elections are taking place, it is not important. But in other circumstances, they might think that it is necessary to participate, as they did this time. People felt the urgency to participate. I saw that some of the media think the 10 million people who usually do not participate will definitely vote for them [the opposition]. This is an over-expectation; I think that it is very spoilt and selfish attitude for people to think that the nation should come and vote for him or his supported candidate. The nation is very alert. The best statistic sample taken was 17.5 million and this time 24.5 million. The statistic sample could not be any higher. They conduct an opinion poll, they take samples from 70 million people, they choose 3,000 people as a sample and they guess what the opinion of the people is. Last time 17.5 million people voted. 17.5 million is a very large and decisive sample. Well, this time it has increased.

[Moderator] Lavanguardia Newspaper of Spain, and then the reporter of Resalat Newspaper please be ready.

[Reporter] Mr President, I know your country from 30 years ago; I know your country well and I was here during the Islamic Revolution. I was in Tehran when Imam Khomeyni returned to the country from abroad. I love your country. My first question for you is whether you are ready to give more freedom to the cinema and national culture? Everyone knows Iranian artists all over the world. Iran's cinema and Iranian films have many fans across the world. You should be proud of this. Do you think you would give more freedom to artists? Thank you Mr President.

[Ahmadinezhad] Thank you very much. Iranian arts and film industry are flourishing in Iran. I can assure you that in this government, in the next term of its work, this will be several fold. You will witness the presence of more Iranian artists on the international scene.

[Moderator] The respected reporter of Resalat Newspaper please.

[Ahmadinezhad] Please translate my response to the Spanish reporter again.

[Moderator] Please translate the response again.

[Ahmadinezhad] Yes, because he did not have his ear peace on before. Please repeat your translation for him.

[Moderator] The British Economist magazine, Mr John Marks [name as heard] and then Jam-e Jam Newspaper please.

[Economist reporter speaking in English, with voice over Farsi translation] Mr President. You spoke about freedom, but what we see is that many newspapers are closed, and many are censored. This morning you talked about ethical values but we can see how your police are behaving towards the protestors. You talk about foreign media and the allegation leveled by foreigners but we can see and hear that these things are happening and that millions of people who participated in the elections do not believe in the statistics you provided and the vote counts were never completely announced. Do you think this harms the legitimacy of the government and don't you think this is against the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic? Thank you very much.

[Ahmadinezhad] In a country where 85 per cent of people participated in the elections and more than 62 per cent vote for a single candidate, and in a country where the people are united in national interests, all the pillars of the country is selected on the vote of the people, talking about legitimacy of the establishment is nonsense. How do you know that the people do not believe in the [results of the] votes? Have you contacted 40 million people? You only see a few people that you like. This is your mistake. You report such news to your countries and governments and mislead them as well.

If you want to see the people of Tehran, come to Vali-Asr square in two hours. You should have come in front of Sharif University [of Technology] three days ago to see [the crowd of people]. These people who are in the streets [referring to the protestors] are not equal to even the number of people at one single polling station. Some 5,000 people have cast their votes in some ballot boxes in Tehran. Some 2,000 or 3,000 people come [to protests] just like audience of a football match. In my opinion you have to change your view. Don't repeat the previous mistakes. The Iranian nation is an aware nation. Forty million people participated [in casting their votes] and the same 40 people will defend the election [results]. If you can be a bit more patient, you can see [people supporting him] in 22 Bahman [11 February, anniversary of the Islamic Revolution]. Don't you worry about us. We have almost absolute freedom here. The reason is that, as you see, they can say whatever they want. And they don't worry about any prosecutions. Hundreds of newspapers are published in Iran. Now, two or three of them go every now and then and come back [referring to newspapers banned temporarily] which is natural in a nation's move. Don't worry.

[Moderator] Thank you very much. If the Jam-e Jam [correspondent] is not here, Radio Iran's correspondent Ms Soltani, please. I'd like to add that this program is broadcast live by Radio Iran as well.

[Radio Iran correspondent] In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Hello Mr President.

[Ahmadinezhad] Hello.

[Radio Iran correspondent] Hello to the dear listeners of Radio Iran who are listening to this press conference live and the dear audience who are with us watching it on TV. I would like to express my wishes on the occasion of the blessed birthday of Hazrat Zahra [Prophet Mohammad's wife] and the blessed birthday of the late Imam [Ayatollah Khomeyni], as well as your re-election with such a high and exceptional number of votes. Mr President, considering the 84 per cent participation of people in the 10th presidential elections, in your opinion what is the people's major expectation and demand from you and how do you evaluate people's specific priorities?

[Ahmadinezhad] Thank you very much. I have to congratulate the Iranian nation on this victory again, especially since this victory happened at the verge of the birthday anniversary of Hazrat Zahra [blessings upon her and her household], which added to the glory and beauty of this victory. I explained last night that the people have three to four demands: Firstly, to resolve problems and being at their service. After all we have economic problems, development problems, unemployment problems, housing, and the inflation issue, which the government has to follow up more seriously and in a wider spectrum and hopefully reach an ideal point. Secondly, to remove obstacles in the way of development, obstacles which usually prevent the people from making progress: selfishness, classifications and certain rules and regulations, and certain administration structures. And thirdly, to execute justice. People want justice to be practiced. They want selfishness and greedy demands and unlawful access to public properties to be confronted. They don't want there to be people who are seeking special advantages, even one person. And the nation demands honor and even-sided development of the country. Naturally, the government has to pursue the nation's demands in the framework of its agendas seriously and hopefully it will do so.

[Radio Iran correspondent] Hopefully! Thank you very much and I wish you and your administration success on behalf of myself and my colleagues in the national media.

[Moderator] Thank you. The correspondent of Jam-e Jam newspaper, Mr Nikpur and then Europe Radio of France, Mr Didier Eric Francois should be ready if he is present.

[Jam-e Jam correspondent] In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Hello.

[Ahmadinezhad] Hello

[Jam-e Jam correspondent] Mr Ahmadinezhad, some gaps are created during the election process that some of them are normal. Some disagreements happen. Some believe that through various potentials in different parties of the country, some of which were in other candidates' parties, these gaps can be amended quicker. In your opinion are these gaps important at all and do you have any plans with this regard in the 10th government or not?

[Ahmadinezhad] This is true, but such gaps are not among the people. Our people were free to vote for whoever they wanted to and they are all united and friends with each other. In a family, the father has voted for someone and the mother or the son for someone else but the family is united and continues life with love. But there are such issues among political claimers and groups. Last night, I invited everyone to cooperate. I said that the way is open, let's all develop the country hand in hand. At the previous time, immediately after the election, I met four of the candidates and I asked them to let me know if they know anyone or if they have any suggestions or plans. It was a meeting which went on for a few hours and I wrote down the minutes of that meeting. I have those [minutes of the meeting] and I have used some of them. This time as well, I invite everyone to discuss any plans, suggestions or capabilities that can help in the development of the country and progress of the goals and we will welcome them.

[Jam-e Jam correspondent] Thank you very much.

[Moderator] Europe Radio of France, Didier Francois and then the international Jam-e Jam TV

[French correspondent] Do you think that after the election you will be in a new position for international negotiations- sorry if my English is so bad?

[Ahmadinezhad] We have announced this before that we- give him a headphone. Change to the English translation channel. We were ready for discussions even before, based on logic and respect and justice. This is the characteristic of the Iranian nation. It is the same now. I announced this even before the election that if I am elected, I will invite Mr Obama to a debate at the United Nations because we think that points of views should be discussed. The root of international issues should be identified and suitable solutions should be chosen. It is very clear that holding talks is the best way of interacting. Of course, at certain times some people have tried to impose their own demands on our people. It is natural that our nation will not accept such a thing. It is natural that through clear performance, clear slogans, and clear plans this government was extensively welcomed by the people. It is very obvious that now the government is stronger than a month ago. Today, the government's capability is tens of times more than three months ago, an experienced government that was welcomed more extensively by the people after four years. Of course we have a steady logic in encountering international affairs but we will pursue that logic with more strength and capability.

[Moderator] Mr Sadeqi, international Jam-e Jam TV and the next person is Ms Amanpur from the CNN

[Jam-e Jam correspondent] Hello, I congratulate you on the occasion of [interrupted by Ahmadinezhad]

[Ahmadinezhad] He is the correspondent from where?

[Moderator] International Jam-e Jam TV

[Jam-e Jam correspondent] As per the name given to the fourth decade of the Islamic Revolution as the Decade of Progress and Justice, and an increase of more than 300 per cent and 3 times of participation in this election by our countrymen abroad, please tell me how the Iranians living abroad can help your government in fulfilling the slogans?

[Ahmadinezhad] Last night, I invited all the Iranians inside and outside the country to participate in developing the country and achieving the goals of the Iranian nation. I repeat this today as well. The supreme council of the Iranians is a very suitable means of communication by all fellow countrymen with the administration structures of the country. This council has created a very good organization in at least 26 countries of the world, in countries where more Iranians live. And I hope that through this relation that will be wider, we will witness more participation by our dear countrymen living abroad in the development of the dear Iran.

[Moderator] Ms Christian Amanpur, the CNN correspondent, and then Mehr News Agency's correspondent should be ready

[Christian Amanpur] Good afternoon Mr Ahmadinezhad. Last night in your speech, you said that you were the president of all Iranians, no matter who they voted for. I would like to ask you what is the situation with your challenger, Mr Mirhoseyn Musavi and if you guaranty his safety and why have the opposition reform individuals, officials been arrested?

[Ahmadinezhad] The country is in a very good condition, thanks to God. Iran is the world's most stable country. Iran is a lawful country. And everyone is equal in front of the law. The election was a very enthusiastic one. As I said, even in a football match there might be some audience who would get angry and they would be confronted by the Law Enforcement Force. This is natural. When someone leaves a stadium and passes the red traffic light, whoever he would be, he will be given a fine by the police, whether he is be a minister or an ordinary person. These are no problems on the Iranian nation's path. Some 40 million people participated in the election. And these 40 million are the guards of the election.

[Political] Parties do not exist in the Iranian culture like the way they do in the West. People are friends and intimate with one another and will vote for whoever they want. Voting for different candidates does not cause hatred or grudges among people. Go out there in the streets and see that people are friends which each other.

In Iran no one asks you who you voted for. The situation is very good. Iran is about to take huge leaps and certainly, in the next four years, the position of Iran will be a lot higher. Economic, scientific and cultural advancements of Iran will be 10 fold [in the next four years]. Iran, in the coming four years, will turn into one of the world's economic powers in addition to the political power it already is.

[Amanpur in English with Farsi voice-over] Sorry, I may have missed the translation.

[Ahmadinezhad] Under the pretext of translation, you're asking your second question.

[Amanpur] No, this is the first question. Last night you said [interrupted by Ahmadinezhad]

[Ahmadinezhad] Yes, you asked if I am the president of every Iranian and I answered your question. I said that when a football match finishes, some people might be upset [with the result] and may cross the red light. And the police will fine them. That person is a member of the Iranian nation too, but is fined for crossing the red light. This may not have anything to do with your question, but I am the president of every Iranian, just as I was in the past four years.
Everyone is respected and people are equal in front of the law. And I like everyone too. I am not happy to see people crossing the red light and being fined, I wish they don't cross the red light.

[Moderator] From Mehr News Agency, Mr Kho'iniha.

[A journalist from among the crowd] Mr President, the turns are not respected again.

[Ahmadinezhad] Mr Mardukhi please be patient.

[Kho'iniha] Greetings. I would like to congratulate you on the occasion of Hazrat Zahra's birthday and your re-election as the president of Iran on behalf of my colleagues at Mehr News Agency. Mr President today is a festive day and as a gift I would like to be allowed to ask two short questions.

1. Will your economic priority in the next four years be the Economic Reform Plan?

2. Unlike Western media, American officials admitted to the massive turnout of the Iranian people in the 22 Khordad [12 June] election. In addition to that, we have heard that Mr Obama has announced that he is ready to hold direct talks with Iran and Syria, to the point that American ambassadors have invited their Iranian counterparts to take part in the American national day [4 July] celebrations. How do you assess these recent comments by American officials and what is your response to those comments?

[Ahmadinezhad] Look, Iran, its election or its nation are not the sort of things people can ignore easily or play down. They are all about grandeur, dignity and power. Iran is the main pillar of human civilization. In other words, Iran is one of the main pillars of mankind's civilization. Without Iran, civilization and culture are meaningless. Without Iran, running the world is meaningless. It is obvious that Iran's position is very important and without Iran, no one has an exit strategy from the current situation.

Iran's views, approaches and solutions are all cultural, humanitarian, civilized and based on love, justice and kindness. This is what mankind needs today. We have said repeatedly, and I said it too, we will hopefully go [to New York] for the UN General Assembly. I have announced that I am prepared to have a debate [with President Barack Obama]. The reason I am ready to have a debate is because we have no secrets. We should discuss international issues openly so that everyone will know about them and participate in them.

It will be so good if the UN could see a day when a topic is presented and discussed for three days, unlike now when the decisions are made somewhere in a separate room and hundreds of world leaders make a speech and go back home. This is not the United Nations, this is not a discussion. They [UN] should introduce a topic and discuss it as long as they understand what the best solution is and the whole world should listen to those discussions too. This was my suggestion and I will hopefully follow it up.

[Reporter] What about the other question?

[Ahmadinezhad] Allow me to continue with my one-question policy to avoid discrimination.

[Moderator] Mr Ali Akbar Dareyni from the Associated Press and after that the correspondent from the Javan newspaper.

[Dareyni] Hello Mr President, my name is Dareyni and I'm from the AP. Your suggestions have been limited to an offer to debate with Mr Obama at the UN. But is your government prepared to hold direct talks with the American government regarding bilateral issues or not?

[Ahmadinezhad] Thank you. Well, we review [all the] proposals after all. You are not offering a proposal, you are asking a question. If there's a proposal, then OK we will review it.

[Moderator] Mr Takbiri from Javan and then Ms Zabihpur from the Young Journalists Club.

[Takbiri] Hello Mr President, congratulations. Over the past four years and in your campaigns for this election, you insisted that you wanted to fight financial corruption. Last night, too, you insisted on this issue. I want to know what your practical measures will be in this new government to fight financial corruption.

[Ahmadinezhad] Many thanks. In the previous government, we tried to stop corruption through amending bylaws, regulations and processes. Thankfully we achieved numerous achievements. A great deal of the loopholes that could have been misused are now removed. Now we have to address the past and the cases that might be beyond the lawful structure [remit] of the executive power.

[Moderator] Correspondent from the Young Journalists Club, followed by Ms Mary Catherine from Sunday Times.

[Correspondent] Greetings Mr President. You were elected as the 10th president, with 24m votes, yesterday. I'd like to know if you will still use the ministers and the cabinet of the ninth government or will make changes.

[Ahmadinezhad] I set out my plans regarding the choosing my colleagues last night. It [his plan] is in accordance with what the people have asked me to do and it is compatible with our culture and belief. It is very clear that I will invite everyone who thinks they are capable enough; of course I will announce the necessary requirements for each position. I will give an opportunity to people to introduce themselves to me, and will review their performance. Naturally, our friends who served in the ninth government, too, will be re-assessed, although I have completed my assessments regarding them. What I want to say is that the management circle of the next government will not be limited to the current figures.

[Moderator] Mary Catherine from the Sunday Times, followed by Mr Mardukhi from Arman newspaper.

[Correspondent in English with Farsi voice-over] I've been speaking to a lot of women in the past week. Iranian women took part in the election and were very happy to do so. However, they think they do not have equal rights with men. For example, their word is half worth the word of a man in a court, etc. Will you introduce new laws or at least take a look at the current situation of women in Iran?

[Ahmadinezhad] Please pass the headphone to the lady to listen to my answer.

In Iran women have better rights than men do. Please pay attention that if a man dies, his blood money is given to his wife. Similarly, if a woman dies, her blood money is given to her spouse. That means the families of a dead man receive twice as much money as the families of a dead woman. If we want to say that there's discrimination, then the discrimination is against men because the blood money is not given to the dead person, it is given to their living family.

This means that our judicial system cares for the women who live after their dead husbands. They receive more. In any case, please note that legal debates have their own place. Legal systems are very complicated and their mechanisms should be examined in their own right. Despite that, we agreed in the government that insurance companies should pay equal blood money for men and women. We will continue to make similar decisions. Of course, that will be to the benefit of men, although it may look like to be in the interest of women.

Please note that we do not consider men and women as two opposing points, we think they complement each other and are friends.

[Moderator] Arman Newspaper, Mr Mardukhi, and then Mr Martin Rodriguez from the Spanish EFE News Agency.

[Ahmadinezhad] Well, we need to wrap up. Just ask your question please.

[Reporter of Arman Newspaper] In the name of God! [chants a slogan before posing questions] Thanks God that through our efforts and actions we were united with "the friend" [referring to Ahmadinezhad], well done for our manly determination.

As tonight there are celebrations taking place everywhere for the victory of the Iranian nation, I would also read this poem: Tonight is bright daylight for us, the celebrations for being united with "the friend" instead of "the enemy.”

[Ahmadinezhad] Well done.

[Reporter] Dr Ahmadinezhad, thanks God, the Iranian nation was successful in this great test and was victorious. People expect two things from the government: First: to provide the basic necessities of life, and secondly to provide security. Thanks to God, with clever management and the wisdom of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamene'i, Iran is one of the safest countries in the Middle East. I mean there is no other country safer than Iran in the Middle East. Regarding the provision of the necessities of life, hopefully in the second round you will start your second term in office, we hope that you can curb the current high prices so that people will be more satisfied with you. Yesterday a group of rebels created mayhem and insecurity. People expect the government to punish the main perpetrators and other individuals with minor roles seriously. Also, in the previous press conference, I asked you when you will submit "Where did you bring it from" [presumably referring to officials gathering personal] law to the Majles, you said that you submitted it, but that a group of wealthy people created a hue and cry and did not allow the bill to be approved legally. You said that in your second term, you will immediately submit this bill to the Majles; I want to know whether you would do so or not?

[Ahmadinezhad] Thank you very much. I need to answer your second question. You added that part of your comments about the wealthy people [creating hue and cry] based on your own judgment. We submitted the bill, the Majles did not approve it, we will submit the bill in the new government after some amendments.

[Moderator] Thank you. The Spanish EFE News Agency and Mardom Newspaper next please.

[Ahmadinezhad] [Continues speaking about the previous question, addressing the report he says:] Yes, that bill was regarding the [the wealth accumulated by the] officials. Because people can work hard to accumulate wealth, we wish for all Iranians to be wealthy. The bill was regarding the officials to make sure no one, God forbid, misused his responsibilities.

[Moderator] The Spanish EFE News Agency please.

[EFE reporter speaking in English with aid-over Farsi translation] Mr President, before the elections you said that your government is preparing a new pack of proposals for the 5+1. When will this pack be ready? And when will you be submitting it to the 5+1? Have you made any changes in the draft of your proposal after you were elected president?

[Ahmadinezhad] It is natural that the government is going through change; the political situation is constantly changing. Our package of proposals is affected by the current situation in the world, but the principles of the package remain the same. It is based on justice, respect, logic and dialogue and it calls for everyone's effort to resolve the issues of the world. I hope that the package is prepared in the near future for submission.

[Moderator] Thank you. Mr Karim Abbasi from Rah-e Mardom Newspaper and then the Hayat Newpaper from the UK. We are aiming to finish the press conference by 1700 [1230 GMT] with your permission.

[Rah-e Mardom reporter] I would also like to congratulate you. My question is that the people expect you to employ a new team for providing services to the people. Are you planning to make changes in the middle management of the government or not? The people believe that the country should have 25,000 officials, like president Ahmadinezhad, to rule the government so that one can see works speeding up. My question is whether you will make these changes or not?

[Ahmadinezhad] Thanks very much. I think that the Iranian nation is a great nation. We have hundreds of thousands of efficient people, our problem is to find and identify these efficient individuals, otherwise I am a humble member of society and a humble servant. In line with our capabilities, commitments and honesty and the characteristics that I announced last night [in his televised speech 12 June] we hope to be able to employ more knowledgeable people to serve the nation.

[Moderator] Thank you. The UK's Al-Hayat Newspaper please.

[Al-Hayat reporter speaking in Arabic with Farsi voice-over translation] Greetings to you Mr President. [Translator speaking in progress] Regarding the Arab coalition, what are your plans for this and what is your plan regarding cooperation with the Arab world and especially regarding the common problems which exist?

[Ahmadinezhad] We seek brotherly relations with all countries, especially with Muslim and Arab and neighboring countries. We are brothers, we aim to expand relations with all countries and have done our best to meet this end. Of course, under the new circumstances, efforts will take a new form and I think that we will witness more speed in improving and deepening brotherly relations between Iran and other countries in the region.

[Same reporter speaking in Arabic] The ambiguity exists that Mr Ahmadinezhad will be much more moderate in the future, is this true?

[Ahmadinezhad] We are moderate dealing with friends and will be tougher against arrogant powers.

[Moderator] The press conference comes to an end.

[Ahmadinezhad] I can answer one more question.

[Moderator] Arya News Agency reporter please.

[Arya reporter] In the name of God. Greetings to you Mr President, I congratulate you on the birth of the daughter of Prophet Muhammad and your re-election as Iran's president. Regarding criticisms leveled against you and the ninth government by your rivals during the elections, my question is whether in the tenth government you have any plans to correct the criticisms by your rivals - those who you consider valid - and have a specific plan regarding this.

[Ahmadinezhad] In the four years, we did not object to insults and allegations so that people can express their views. We will use any comment which is useful and wise and is useful for the country. Some of the media people have written a lot of analytic reports about various departments, I relayed them and the government used them and even invited authors and I sat down and listened to their comments myself. Also the government's circle of consultants is very big. Despite the fact that the government is in touch with the social body of the people, it is constantly in touch with experts of various fields. I myself have numerous expert meetings with experts, in various fields. However the news are not broadcast, otherwise, nearly all the decisions of the government is based on a series of comprehensive expert work and discussions with the elites, exchanging views and opinions. It is clear that in the next round, these meetings will be expanded and with a new organization we will move forward, speedier than before. I thank you all and wish you success.

[Description of Source: Tehran Islamic Republic of Iran News Network Television (IRINN) in Persian -- State-run 24-hour news channel in Persian, Arabic and English; presenting up to the minute domestic and international news. It offers exclusive interviews on a variety of topics, as well as information on universities, labor, and economic developments from the capital and the provinces.]

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