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US should change ‘behaviour’: Mahmoud

August 11, 2006

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NEW YORK, Aug 10: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadin-ejad on Thursday said if the Bush administration ‘changes its behaviour everything will be resolved’ and lamented the US president had not replied to a letter written several months ago.

“George Bush believes that his power emanates from his nuclear warhead arsenals. The time of the bomb is in the past, it’s behind us. Today is the era of thought, dialogue and cultural exchanges,” said Mr Ahmadinejad in an exclusive interview with CBS News.

To a question ‘what the conducive conditions’ would be for Iran to establish relations with the US, Mr Ahmadinejad said: “Well, please look at the makeup of the American administration, the behaviour of the American administration. See how they talk down to my nation.”

On the recent resolution passed by UN Security Council on Iran’s nuclear programme, Mr Ahmadinejad said: “This recent resolution passed about the nuclear issue, look at the wording. They have given us — presented us with a package which we are studying right now. We even gave them a date for our response. Ignoring that, they passed a resolution.”

He alleged the United States wants ‘to build an empire’. “And they don’t want to live side-by-side in peace with other nations. The American government, sir, it is very clear to me they have to change their behaviour and everything will be resolved. (George Bush) believes that his power emanates from his nuclear warhead arsenals. The time of the bomb is in the past, it’s behind us. Today is the era of thought, dialogue and cultural exchanges.”

In the wide-ranging interview, the Iranian leader commented on President Bush’s foreign policy, the lack of relations between Iran and the United States, Hezbollah, Lebanon and Iraq.

Speaking about President Bush’s failure to answer his 18-page letter that criticised US foreign policy, Mr Ahmadinejad said: “Well, (with the letter) I wanted to open a window towards the light for the president so that he can see that one can look on the world through a different perspective. We are all free to choose.

“But please give him this message, sir: Those who refuse to accept an invitation will not have a good ending or fate. You see that his approval rating is dropping every day.

“Hatred vis-a-vis the president is increasing every day around the world. For a ruler, this is the worst message that he could receive.”