Every question and answer from
last night’s Channel 4 News interview with Jon Snow and the Iranian president”

Q: Both the UK and the US have accused Iran of fighting a proxy war inside Iraq?

A: “I think the Americans and the British, they should correct themselves …. We know that there is a difference between Americans and the British. The British when they moved out of Barsa, it was a good gesture and we hope it will continue. We are the country that gets damaged a lot for Iraq’s insecurity because we’re two countries that are so connected for 1000s for years, we have lots of two way connections and our security depends on each others. Let me say one more another sentence; Iraq is a great nation..”

Q: There are factions in southern Iraq you support – is it a victory that the British left Basra?

A: “Do you think that you were defeated in Iraq by Iraqi people or by Iran?”

Q: By Iran. People supporting factions in the south of Iraq.

A: “It’s a mistake of yours. That’s why future decisions would be wrong as well. We hope responsible people should understand this. Iran is against any sort of insecurity and attack and Iraq is able to defend themselves.”

Q: We find the division difficult between your influence in the south of Iraq and actual military involvement – some say we have British troops killed by bombs made in Iran…

A: “We have influence all over Iraq, because we have a good relationship; good history – sincere relations – in a lot of the country. They are very good friends of ours, we speak to each other in our private matters. We have good relationships with Shias and Sunnis; with both the President and the Prime Minister..”

Q: Can you use your influence in the release of current hostages?

A: “We can help solve many problems in Iraq. We can help secure Iraq. We can help the attackers go out; the invaders go out of Iraq. There won’t be any need for these conflicts. We hope they recognise Iraqi peoples’ rights, if they don’t recognise Iraqi peoples’ rights then this condition will continue.”

Q: Nuclear and the UN – What will happen if there are sanctions?

A: “The problem is clear. We have to obey or agree with what ever was put to us but we didn’t exercise all the rights that we had. The main problem is the {enmity or anonymity – translation unclear} of America. From the beginning we said everything should be solved by the agency and US opinion is now important for us …”{ last seven words also unclear here}..”

Q: You do want a bomb don’t you?

A: “We do not need a bomb. We are against a bomb actually. There are many reasons that we’re against it. In our belief we are against bombs {and} from a political point of view it is not useful.”

Q: Will you take me to your nuclear facility?

A: “Would the government of Britain let me inspect their atomic bases or Americans? Would they let us do it – to inspect their bases?”

Q: Hand on heart – you do not want a bomb?

A: “Americans and British – if they have it {nuclear facility} – what is the issue? Why have it? We don’t need it {a bomb}.”

Q: On the existence of Israel?

A: “If there is a general referendum by the people of Palestine, all would be solved. We think it is a human solution… We do not recognise Israel; they are attackers and illegal, but our method is human. I’ll ask you where is Soviet Union now – isn’t it gone, without war? Let the Palestinian people decide.”

Q: But you speak with more determination. The collapse of Soviet Union was a surprise – you say you want is off the map (Israel).

A: “Because we are studying the region, the problems in the region properly. We do not deceive ourselves. We think that Israel is an invader and it is cruel and it hasn’t got a united public. All other neighbouring countries are against it. It cannot continue its life.”

Q: Do you regret denying the holocaust?

A: “I had two questions about holocaust. I am sorry that instead of answering academic questions they created a political issue of it. I had two questions. 1st – if the holocaust is a historic matter there should be research about it…..”

Q: But documentation is enormous…

A: “I don’t know why you are trying to blame me, my question is clear – if historic matter has happened then we should research this, there should be of course new things to discover about it – why don’t they let us do it this? It is suspicious. My second question if there was holocaust, where did it happen, what was the Palestinian peoples’ role in it? They didn’t have any mistake in it. Why should they be punished, why should they be invaded, be killed…?”

Q: The majority of people in world will not agree.

A: “It is your mistake. If you make a referendum in Europe -you will see that people of Europe are with me. If as International associations will go to Europe and we get a vote you will see they are with us…”

Q: You will never cease nuclear enrichment?

A: “Why should we stop it while American and Britain does not cut it – what is the point?”

Q: You don’t fear an American or Israeli bomb?

A: “There is no reason – no. There are those in America that are interested to use warfare and force but we do not believe in war and it is the last resort.

There is one question I want to ask you- why should the American programme not be stopped but our programme is dangerous, but Americans are not a danger?”

Q: When you were elected the poor believed you’d reduce their suffering – but with high unemployment – the poor are poorer – can you afford these conflicts with outside world?

A: “I am happy that you are speaking on behalf of my nation as well – where did you hear these things that people say these things? I have said these things before the elections as well. Our nation is strong enough and in all cities and provinces they say our people, that the government is there and there is no gap between the government and the people here.”

Q: Contact between the US and Iran has so far been between ambassadors – one in Iraq and one here but negotiations have to be at top. Would it be useful for Gordon brown or Nicolas Sarkozy or Angela Merkel to be directly involved?

A: “We appreciate and we are on the side of negotiation. We do not have any problem with the British government for example… {unclear} … but if something is forced upon us then we do not tolerate that. We prefer to make more {negotiations} now with Europeans because Europeans have had two wars and they have suffered the consequences.”

Q: Can you say that no Iranians are involved in the killing of British solders?

A: “I should say this to the good British people about the things that happen .. {unclear} .. We are sorry for your soldiers to be killed, we think that peace should exist. Why should there be invasions so that people are killed? We want friendship. Our message is friendship to all – all nations all human beings – anybody who is killed, we are against that. Your soldiers, poor soldiers, they don’t know where they are to be sent, they don’t know which part of the world, why should they be killed? British youths should be in their own country, serving their own people. We want peace and friendship for all. We should help. This war should finish.”

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