President Ahmadinejad (file photo) (epa)
August 10, 2006 -- Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has given an interview to the U.S. television network CBS in which he criticizes U.S. President George W. Bush's handling of the international response to Iran's nuclear program.
The interview, conducted in Tehran on August 8 by journalist Mike Wallace, also covered the Israeli-Hizballah conflict.
Ahmadinejad accused the Bush administration of, in his words, "talking down" to Iran and "trying to build an empire."
He also said the Bush administration must change its behavior in order to resolve the Middle East crisis.
Excerpts were released by CBS on August 9 and more excerpts are to be aired later today. The entire interview is to be broadcast on August 13.
PRESIDENT TO PRESIDENT: On May 8, the Iranian government announced that President Mahmud Ahmadinejad had sent a letter to U.S. President George W. Bush. The letter was the first direct communication between leaders of the two countries since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution. RFE/RL has posted the English version of Ahmadinejad's letter that was posted on the Iranian president's website.
"The people will scrutinize our presidencies," AHMADINEJAD wrote. "Did we manage to bring peace, security, and prosperity to our people or insecurity and unemployment? Did we intend to establish justice, or just support special-interest groups and -- by forcing many people to live in poverty and hardship -- make a few people rich and powerful, -- thus trading the approval of the people and the Almighty for [that of those few]? Did we bring the world peace and security or did we raise the specter of intimidation and threats?"...(more)
For an archive of RFE/RL's coverage of Iran, click here.
THE COMPLETE PICTURE: RFE/RL's complete coverage of controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.
CHRONOLOGY An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.