Ahmadinejad di Universitas Columbia

Transkripsi utuh pidato Ahmadinejad dan diskusinya dengan hadirin di Universitas Columbia.

SPEAKER: IRANIAN PRESIDENT MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD

[*]

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): In the name of God, the
compassionate, the merciful…

TRANSLATOR: The president is reciting verses from the holy Koran in
Arabic.

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Oh, God, hasten the arrival of Imam
al-Mahdi and grant him good health and victory and make us his
followers and those to attest to his rightfulness.

Distinguished Dean, dear professors and students, ladies and
gentlemen, at the outset I would like to extend my greetings to all of
you. I am grateful to the almighty God for providing me with the
opportunity to be in an academic environment, those seeking truth and
striving for the promotion of science and knowledge.

At the outset I want to complain a bit from the person who read this
political statement against me. In Iran tradition requires that when
we demand a person to invite to be a speaker we actually respect our
students and the professors by allowing them to make their own
judgment and we don’t think it’s necessary before this speech is even
given to come in with a series of claims…

(APPLAUSE)

… and to attempt in a so-called manner to provide vaccination of
some sort to our students and our faculty.

I think the text read by the dear gentleman here, more than addressing
me, was an insult to information and the knowledge of the audience
here, present here. In a university environment we must allow people
to speak their mind, to allow everyone to talk so that the truth is
eventually revealed by all.

Certainly he took more than all the time I was allocated to speak, and
that’s fine with me. We’ll just leave that to add up with the claims
of respect for freedom and the freedom of speech that’s given to us in
this country.

Many parts of his speech, there were many insults and claims that were
incorrect, regretfully.

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Of course, I think that he was
affected by the press, the media, and the political, sort of,
mainstream line that you read here that goes against the very grain of
the need for peace and stability in the world around us.

Nonetheless, I should not begin by being affected by this unfriendly
treatment. I will tell you what I have to say, and then the questions
he can raise and I’ll be happy to provide answers. But as for one of
the issues that he did raise, I most certainly would need to elaborate
further so that we, for ourselves, can see how things fundamentally work.

It was my decision in this valuable forum and meeting to speak with
you about the importance of knowledge, of information, of education.
Academics and religious scholars are shining torches who shed light in
order to remove darkness. And the ambiguities around us in guiding
humanity out of ignorance and perplexity.

The key to the understanding of the realities around us rests in the
hands of the researchers, those who seek to discover areas that are
hidden, the unknown sciences, the windows of realities that they can
open is done only through efforts of the scholars and the learned
people in this world.

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): With every effort there is a window
that is opened, and one reality is discovered. Whenever the high
stature of science and wisdom is preserved and the dignity of scholars
and researchers are respected, humans have taken great strides toward
their material and spiritual promotion.

In contrast, whenever learned people and knowledge have been
neglected, humans have become stranded in the darkness of ignorance
and negligence.

If it were not for human instinct, which tends toward continual
discovery of truth, humans would have always remained stranded in
ignorance and no way would not have discovered how to improve the life
that we are given.

The nature of man is, in fact, a gift granted by the Almighty to all.
The Almighty led mankind into this world and granted him wisdom and
knowledge as his prime gift enabling him to know his God.

In the story of Adam, a conversation occurs between the Almighty and
his angels. The angels call human beings an ambitious and merciless
creature and protested against his creation.

But the Almighty responded, quote, “I have knowledge of what you are
ignorant of,” unquote. Then the Almighty told Adam the truth. And on
the order of the Almighty, Adam revealed it to the angels.

The angels could not understand the truth as revealed by the human being.

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): The Almighty said to them, quote,
“Did not I say that I am aware of what is hidden in heaven and in the
universe?” unquote.

In this way the angels prostrated themselves before Adam.

In the mission of all divine prophets, the first sermons were of the
words of God, and those words — piety, faith and wisdom — have been
spread to all mankind.

Regarding the holy prophet Moses, may peace be upon him, God says,
quote, “And he was taught wisdom, the divine book, the Old Testament
and the New Testament. He is the prophet appointed for the sake of the
children of Israel, and I rightfully brought a sign from the Almighty,
holy Koran (SPEAKING IN PERSIAN),” unquote.

The first words, which were revealed to the holy prophet of Islam,
call the prophet to read, quote, “Read, read in the name of your God,
who supersedes everything,” unquote, the Almighty, quote again, “who
taught the human being with the pen,” unquote. Quote, “The Almighty
taught human beings what they were ignorant of,” unquote.

You see, in the first verses revealed to the holy prophet of Islam,
words of reading, teaching and the pen are mentioned. These verses in
fact introduced the Almighty as the teacher of human beings, the
teacher who taught humans what they were ignorant of.

In another part of the Koran, on the mission of the holy prophet of
Islam, it is mentioned that the Almighty appointed someone from
amongst the common people as their prophet in order to, quote, “read
for them the divine verses,” unquote, and quote again, “and purify
them from ideological and ethical contamination” unquote, and quote
again, “to teach them the divine book and wisdom,” unquote.

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): My dear friends, all the words and
messages of the divine prophets from Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, to
David and Solomon and Moses, to Jesus and Mohammad delivered humans
from ignorance, negligence, superstitions, unethical behavior, and
corrupted ways of thinking, with respect to knowledge, on the path to
knowledge, light and rightful ethics.

In our culture, the word science has been defined as illumination. In
fact, the science means brightness and the real science is a science
which rescues the human being from ignorance, to his own benefit. In
one of the widely accepted definitions of science, it is stated that
it is the light which sheds to the hearts of those who have been
selected by the almighty.

Therefore, according to this definition, science is a divine gift and
the heart is where it resides. If we accept that science means
illumination, then its scope supersedes the experimental sciences and
it includes every hidden and disclosed reality.

One of the main harms inflicted against science is to limit it to
experimental and physical sciences. This harm occurs even though it
extends far beyond this scope. Realities of the world are not limited
to physical realities and the materials, just a shadow of supreme
reality. And physical creation is just one of the stories of the
creation of the world.

Human being is just an example of the creation that is a combination
of a material and the spirit. And another important point is the
relationship of science and purity of spirit, life, behavior and
ethics of the human being. In the teachings of the divine prophets,
one reality shall always be attached to science; the reality of purity
of spirit and good behavior. Knowledge and wisdom is pure and clear
reality.

It is — science is a light. It is a discovery of reality. And only a
pure scholar and researcher, free from wrong ideologies,
superstitions, selfishness and material trappings can discover —
discover the reality.

AHMADINEJAD: My dear friends and scholars, distinguished participants,
science and wisdom can also be misused, a misuse caused by
selfishness, corruption, material desires and material interests, as
well as individual and group interests.

Material desires place humans against the realities of the world.
Corrupted and dependent human beings resist acceptance of reality. And
even if they do accept it, they do not obey it.

There are many scholars who are aware of the realities but do not
accept them. Their selfishness does not allow them to accept those
realities.

Do those who, in the course of human history, wage wars, not
understand the reality that lives, properties, dignity, territories,
and the rights of all human beings should be respected, or did they
understand it but neither have faith in nor abide by it?

My dear friends, as long as the human heart is not free from hatred,
envy, and selfishness, it does not abide by the truth, by the
illumination of science and science itself.

Science is the light, and scientists must be pure and pious. If
humanity achieves the highest level of physical and spiritual
knowledge but its scholars and scientists are not pure, then this
knowledge cannot serve the interests of humanity, and several events
can ensue.

First, the wrongdoers reveal only a part of the reality, which is to
their own benefit, and conceal the rest. As we have witnessed with
respect to the scholars of the divine religions in the past, too,
unfortunately, today, we see that certain researchers and scientists
are still hiding the truth from the people.

Second, science, scientists, and scholars are misused for personal,
group, or party interests. So, in today’s world, bullying powers are
misusing many scholars and scientists in different fields with the
purpose of stripping nations of their wealth.

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): And they use all opportunities only
for their own benefit.

For example, they deceive people by using scientific methods and
tools. They, in fact, wish to justify their own wrongdoings, though.
By creating nonexistent enemies, for example, and an insecure
atmosphere, they try to control all in the name of combating
insecurity and terrorism.

They even violate individual and social freedoms in their own nations
under that pretext. They do not respect the privacy of their own
people. They tap telephone calls and try to control their people. They
create an insecure psychological atmosphere in order to justify their
warmongering acts in different parts of the world.

As another example, by using precise scientific methods and planning,
they begin their onslaught on the domestic cultures of nations, the
cultures which are the result of thousands of years of interaction,
creativity and artistic activities.

They try to eliminate these cultures in order to separate the people
from their identity and cut their bonds with their own history and
values. They prepare the ground for stripping people from their
spiritual and material wealth by instilling in them feelings of
intimidation, desire for imitation and (inaudible) submission to
oppressive powers and disability.

Making nuclear, chemical and biological bombs and weapons of mass
destruction is yet another result of the misuse of science and
research by the big powers.

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Without cooperation of certain
scientists and scholars, we would not have witnessed production of
different nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

Are these weapons to protect global security?

What can a perpetual nuclear umbrella threat achieve for the sake of
humanity?

If nuclear war wages between nuclear powers, what human catastrophe
will take place?

Today we can see the nuclear effects in even new generations of
Nagasaki and Hiroshima residents, which might be witnessed in even the
next generations to come.

Presently, the effects of the depleted uranium used in weapons since
the beginning of the war in Iraq can be examined and investigated
accordingly.

These catastrophes take place only when scientists and scholars are
misused by oppressors.

Another point of sorrow: Some big powers create a monopoly over
science and prevent other nations in achieving scientific development
as well.

This, too, is one of the surprises of our time. Some big powers do not
want to see the progress of other societies and nations. They turn to
thousands of reasons, make allegations, place economic sanctions to
prevent other nations from developing and advancing, all resulting
from their distance from human values and the teachings of the divine
prophets.

Regretfully, they have not been trained to serve mankind.

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Dear academics, dear faculty and
scholars, students, I believe that the biggest God-given gift to man
is science and knowledge. Man’s search for knowledge and the truth
through science is what it guarantees to do in getting close to God.
But science has to combine with the purity of the spirit and of the
purity of man’s spirit so that scholars can unveil the truth and then
use that truth for advancing humanity’s cause.

These scholars would be not only people who would guide humanity, but
also guide humanity towards a better future.

And it is necessary that big powers should not allow mankind to engage
in monopolistic activities and to prevent other nations from achieving
that science. Science is a divine gift by God to everyone, and
therefore, it must remain pure.

God is aware of all reality. All researchers and scholars are loved by
God. So I hope there will be a day where these scholars and scientists
will rule the world and God himself will arrive with Moses and Christ
and Mohammed to rule the world and to take us toward justice.

I’d like to thank you now but refer to two points made in the
introduction given about me, and then I will be open for any questions.

Last year — I would say two years ago — I raised two questions. You
know that my main job is a university instructor.

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Right now, as president of Iran, I
still continue teaching graduate and Ph.D.-level courses on a weekly
basis. My students are working with me in scientific fields. I believe
that I am an academic, myself. So I speak with you from an academic
point of view, and I raised two questions.

But, instead of a response, I got a wave of insults and allegations
against me. And regretfully, they came mostly from groups who claimed
most to believe in the freedom of speech and the freedom of
information. You know quite well that Palestine is an old wound, as
old as 60 years. For 60 years, these people are displaced.

For 60 years, these people are being killed. For 60 years, on a daily
basis, there’s conflict and terror. For 60 years, innocent women and
children are destroyed and killed by helicopters and airplanes that
break the house over their heads. For 60 years, children and
kindergartens, in schools, in high schools, are in prison being
tortured. For 60 years, security in the Middle East has been
endangered. For 60 years, the slogan of expansionism from the Nile to
the Euphrates is being chanted by certain groups in that part of the
world.

And as an academic, I asked two questions; the same two questions that
I will ask here again. And you judge, for yourselves, whether the
response to these questions should be the insults, the allegations,
and all the words and the negative propaganda or should we really try
and face these two questions and respond to them?

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Like you, like any academic, I, too,
will keep — not yet become silent until I get the answer. So I’m
awaiting logical answers instead of insults.

My first question was if — given that the Holocaust is a present
reality of our time, a history that occurred, why is there not
sufficient research that can approach the topic from different
perspectives?

Our friend referred to 1930 as the point of departure for this
development. However, I believe the Holocaust from what we’ve read
happened during World War II, after 1930, in the 1940s. So, you know,
we have to really be able to trace the event.

My question was simple: There are researchers who want to approach the
topic from a different perspective. Why are they put into prison?
Right now, there are a number of European academics who have been sent
to prison because they attempted to write about the Holocaust or
research it from a different perspective, questioning certain aspects
of it.

My question is: Why isn’t it open to all forms of research?

I have been told that there’s been enough research on the topic. And I
ask, well, when it comes to topics such as freedom, topics such as
democracy, concepts and norms such as God, religion, physics even, or
chemistry, there’s been a lot of research, but we still continue more
research on those topics. We encourage it.

But, then, why don’t we encourage more research on a historical event
that has become the root, the cause of many heavy catastrophes in the
region in this time and age?

AHMADINEJAD: Why shouldn’t there be more research about the root
causes? That was my first question.

And my second question, well, given this historical event, if it is a
reality, we need to still question whether the Palestinian people
should be paying for it or not. After all, it happened in Europe. The
Palestinian people had no role to play in it. So why is it that the
Palestinian people are paying the price of an event they had nothing
to do with?

The Palestinian people didn’t commit any crime. They had no role to
play in World War II. They were living with the Jewish communities and
the Christian communities in peace at the time. They didn’t have any
problems.

And today, too, Jews, Christians and Muslims live in brotherhood all
over the world in many parts of the world. They don’t have any serious
problems.

But why is it that the Palestinians should pay a price, innocent
Palestinians, for 5 million people to remain displaced or refugees
abroad for 60 years. Is this not a crime? Is asking about these crimes
a crime by itself?

Why should an academic myself face insults when asking questions like
this? Is this what you call freedom and upholding the freedom of thought?

And as for the second topic, Iran’s nuclear issue, I know there is
time limits, but I need time. I mean, a lot of time was taken from me.

We are a country, we are a member of the International Atomic Energy
Agency. For over 33 years we are a member state of the agency. The
bylaw of the agency explicitly states that all member states have the
right to the peaceful nuclear fuel technology. This is an explicit
statement made in the bylaw, and the bylaw says that there is no
pretext or excuse, even the inspections carried by the IAEA itself
that can prevent member states’ right to have that right.

Of course, the IAEA is responsible to carry out inspections. We are
one of the countries that’s carried out the most amount of level of
cooperation with the IAEA. They have had hours and weeks and days of
inspections in our country, and over and over again the agency’s
reports indicate that Iran’s activities are peaceful, that they have
not detected a deviation, and that Iran — they have received positive
cooperation from Iran.

But regretfully, two or three monopolistic powers, selfish powers want
to force their word on the Iranian people and deny them their right.

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): They keep saying…

(CROSSTALK)

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): They tell us you don’t let them —
they won’t let them inspect. Why not? Of course we do. How come is it,
anyway, that you have that right and we can’t have it? We want to have
the right to peaceful nuclear energy. They tell us, don’t make it
yourself, we’ll give it to you.

Well, in the past, I tell you, we had contracts with the U.S.
government, with the British government, the French government, the
German government, and the Canadian government on nuclear development
for peaceful purposes. But unilaterally, each and every one of them
canceled their contracts with us, as a result of which the Iranian
people had to pay a heavy cost in billions of dollars.

Why do we need the fuel from you? You’ve not even given us spare
aircraft parts that we need for civilian aircraft for 28 years under
the name of embargo and sanctions because we’re against, for example,
human rights or freedom? Under that pretext, you are deny us that
technology? We want to have the right to self-determination toward our
future. We want to be independent. Don’t interfere in us.

If you don’t give us spare parts for civilian aircraft, what is the
expectation that you’d give us fuel for nuclear development for
peaceful purposes?

For 30 years, we’ve faced these problems for over $5 billion to the
Germans and then to the Russians, but we haven’t gotten anything. And
the words have not been completed.

It is our right. We want our right. And we don’t want anything beyond
the law, nothing less than international law.

We are a peaceful, loving nation. We love all nations.

(APPLAUSE)

MODERATOR: Mr. President, your statements here today and in the past
have provoked many questions which I would like to pose to you on
behalf of the students and faculty who have submitted them to me.

Let me begin with the question to which you just alluded…

AHMADINEJAD: Just one by one, one by one — could you just…

MODERATOR: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

MODERATOR: The first question is: Do you or your government seek the
destruction of the state of Israel as a Jewish state?

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): We love all nations. We are friends
with the Jewish people. There are many Jews in Iran, leaving
peacefully, with security.

You must understand that in our constitution and our laws and in the
parliamentary elections for every 150,000 people, we get one
representative in the parliament. For the Jewish community, for one-
fifth of this number, they still get one independent representative in
the parliament.

So our proposal to the Palestinian plight is a humanitarian and
democratic proposal. What we say is that to solve this 60-year
problem, we must allow the Palestinian people to decide about its
future for itself.

This is compatible with the spirit of the Charter of the United
Nations and the fundamental principles enshrined in it. We must allow
Jewish Palestinians, Muslim Palestinians and Christian Palestinians to
determine their own fate themselves through a free referendum.

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Whatever they choose as a nation,
everybody should accept and respect. Nobody should interfere in the
affairs of the Palestinian nation. Nobody should sow the seeds of
discord. Nobody should spend tens of billions of dollars equipping and
arming one group there.

We say allow the Palestinian nation to decide its own future, to have
the right to self-determination for itself. This is what we are saying
as the Iranian nation.

(APPLAUSE)

QUESTION: Mr. President, I think many members of our audience would
like to hear a clearer answer to that question. That is…

(APPLAUSE)

The question is: Do you or your government seek the destruction of the
state of Israel as a Jewish state? And I think you could answer that
question with a single word, either yes or no.

(APPLAUSE)

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): You asked the question, and then you
want the answer the way you want to hear it. Well, this isn’t really a
free flow of information.

(APPLAUSE)

I’m just telling you what my position is. I’m asking you: Is the
Palestinian issue not an international issue of prominence or not?
Please tell me, yes or no?

(APPLAUSE)

There’s the plight of a people.

QUESTION: The answer to your question is yes.

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Well, thank you for your
cooperation. We recognize there’s a problem there that’s been going on
for 60 years. Everybody provides a solution. And our solution is a
free referendum.

Let this referendum happen, and then you’ll see what the results are.

AHMADINEJAD: Let the people of Palestine freely choose what they want
for their future. And then what you want in your mind to happen there
will happen and will be realized.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) second question, which was posed by President
Bollinger earlier and comes from a number of other students: Why is
your government providing aid to terrorists?

Will you stop doing so and permit international monitoring to certify
that you have stopped?

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Well, I want to pose a question here
to you. If someone comes and explodes bombs around you, threatens your
president, members of the administration, kills the members of the
Senate or Congress, how would you treat them?

Would you reward them, or would you name them a terrorist group?

Well, it’s clear. You would call them a terrorist.

My dear friends, the Iranian nation is a victim of terrorism. For –26
years ago, where I worked, close to where I worked, in a terrorist
operation, the elected president of the Iranian nation and the elected
prime minister of Iran lost their lives in a bomb explosion. They
turned into ashes.

A month later, in another terrorist operation, 72 members of our
parliament and highest-ranking officials, including four ministers and
eight deputy ministers’ bodies were shattered into pieces as a result
of terrorist attacks.

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Within six months, over 4,000
Iranians lost their lives, assassinated by terrorist groups. All this
carried out by the hand of one single terrorist group. Regretfully,
that same terrorist group now, today, in your country, is being —
operating under the support of the U.S. administration, working
freely, distributing declarations freely, and their camps in Iraq are
supported by the U.S. government.

They’re secured by the U.S. government. Our nation has been harmed by
terrorist activities. We were the first nation that objected to
terrorism and the first to uphold the need to fight terrorism.

(APPLAUSE)

QUESTION: Mr. President, a number of questioners — sorry — a number
of people have asked…

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): We need to address the root causes
of terrorism and eradicate those root causes. We live in the Middle
East. For us, it’s quite clear which powers, sort of, incite
terrorists, support them, fund them. We know that. Our nation, the
Iranian nation, through history has always extended a hand of
friendship to other nations. We’re a cultured nation.

We don’t need to resort to terrorism. We’ve been victims of terrorism,
ourselves. And it’s regrettable that people who argue they’re fighting
terrorism, instead of supporting the Iranian people and nation,
instead of fighting the terrorists that are attacking them, they’re
supporting the terrorists and then turn the fingers to us.

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): This is most regrettable.

QUESTION: Mr. President, a further set of questions challenged your
view of the Holocaust. Since the evidence that this occurred in Europe
in the 1940s, as a result of the actions of the German Nazi
government, since that — those facts — are well documented, why are
you calling for additional research? There seems to be no purpose in
doing so, other than to question whether the Holocaust actually
occurred as a historical fact.

Can you explain why you believe more research is needed into the facts
of what are — what is — what are incontrovertible?

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Thank you very much for your
question. I am an academic, and you are as well.

Can you argue that researching a phenomenon is finished, forever done?
Can we close the books for good on a historical event?

There are different perspectives that come to light after every
research is done. Why should we stop research at all? Why should we
stop the progress of science and knowledge?

You shouldn’t ask me why I’m asking questions. You should ask
yourselves why you think that that’s questionable? Why do you want to
stop the progress of science and research?

Do you ever take what’s known as absolute in physics? We had
principles in mathematics that were granted to be absolute in
mathematics for over 800 years. But new science has gotten rid of
those absolutisms, come forward other different logics of looking at
mathematics and sort of turned the way we look at it as a science
altogether after 800 years.

So, we must allow researchers, scholars, they investigate into
everything, every phenomenon — God, universe, human beings, history
and civilization. Why should we stop that?

I am not saying that it didn’t happen at all. This is not that
judgment that I am passing here.

I said, in my second question, granted this happened, what does it
have to do with the Palestinian people?

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): This is a serious question. There
are two dimensions. In the first question…

QUESTION: Let me just — let me pursue this a bit further.

It is difficult to have a scientific discussion if there isn’t at
least some basis, some empirical basis, some agreement about what the
facts are. So calling for research into the facts when the facts are
so well established represents for many a challenging of the facts
themselves and a denial that something terrible occurred in Europe in
those years.

(APPLAUSE)

Let me move on to…

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Allow me. After all, you are free to
interpret what you want from what I say. But what I am saying I’m
saying with full clarity.

In the first question I’m trying to actually uphold the rights of
European scholars. In the field of science and research I’m asking,
there is nothing known as absolute. There is nothing sufficiently
done. Not in physics for certain. There has been more research on
physics than it has on the Holocaust, but we still continue to do
research on physics. There is nothing wrong with doing it.

This is what man wants. They want to approach a topic from different
points of view. Scientists want to do that. Especially an issue that
has become the foundation of so many other political developments that
have unfolded in the Middle East in the past 60 years.

Why do we stop it altogether? You have to have a justified reason for
it. The fact that it was researched sufficiently in the past is not a
sufficient justification in my mind.

QUESTION: Mr. President, another student asks — Iranian women are now
denied basic human rights and your government has imposed draconian
punishments, including execution on Iranian citizens who are
homosexuals. Why are you doing those things?

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Freedoms in Iran are genuine, true
freedoms. Iranian people are free. Women in Iran enjoy the highest
levels of freedom.

We have two deputy — two vice presidents that are female, at the
highest levels of specialty, specialized fields. In our parliament and
our government and our universities, they’re present. In our
biotechnological fields, our technological fields, there are hundreds
of women scientists that are active — in the political realm as well.

It’s not — it’s wrong for some governments, when they disagree with
another government, to, sort of, try to spread lies that distort the
full truth.

Our nation is free. It has the highest level of participation in
elections, in Iran. Eighty percent, ninety percent of the people turn
out for votes during the elections, half of which, over half of which
are women. So how can we say that women are not free? Is that the
entire truth?

But as for the executions, I’d like to raise two questions. If someone
comes and establishes a network for illicit drug trafficking that
affects the youth in Iran, Turkey, Europe, the United States, by
introducing these illicit drugs and destroys them, would you ever
reward them?

People who lead the lives — cause the deterioration of the lives of
hundreds of millions of youth around the world, including in Iran, can
we have any sympathy to them? Don’t you have capital punishment in the
United States? You do, too.

(APPLAUSE)

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): In Iran, too, there’s capital
punishment for illicit drug traffickers, for people who violated the
rights of people. If somebody takes up a gun, goes into a house, kills
a group of people there, and then tries to take ransom, how would you
confront them in Iran — or in the United States? Would you reward
them? Can a physician allow microbes symbolically speaking to spread
across a nation?

We have laws. People who violate the public rights of the people by
using guns, killing people, creating insecurity, sells drugs,
distribute drugs at a high level are sentenced to execution in Iran.

And some of these punishments, very few, are carried in the public
eye, before the public eye. It’s a law, based on democratic
principles. You use injections and microbes to kill these people, and
they, they’re executed or they’re hung. But the end result is killing.

QUESTION: Mr. President, the question isn’t about criminal and drug
smugglers. The question was about sexual preference and women.

(APPLAUSE)

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals,
like in your country.

(LAUGHTER)

We don’t have that in our country.

(AUDIENCE BOOING)

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): In Iran, we do not have this
phenomenon. I don’t know who’s told you that we have it.

(LAUGHTER)

But, as for women, maybe you think that being a woman is a crime. It’s
not a crime to be a woman.

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Women are the best creatures created
by God. They represent the kindness, the beauty that God instills in
them. Women are respected in Iran. In Iran, every family who is given
a girl — is given — in every Iranian family who has a girl, they are
10 times happier than having a son. Women are respected more than men are.

They are exempt from many responsibilities. Many of the legal
responsibilities rest on the shoulders of men in our society because
of the respect, culturally given, to women, to the future mothers. In
Iranian culture, men and sons and girls constantly kiss the hands of
their mothers as a sign of respect, respect for women. And we are
proud of this culture.

QUESTION: Mr. President, I have two questions which I’ll put together.

One is, what did you hope to accomplish by speaking at Columbia today?
And the second is, what would you have said if you were permitted to
visit the site of the September 11th tragedy?

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Well, here, I’m your guest. I’ve
been invited by Columbia, an official invitation given for me to come
here. But I do want to say something here.

In Iran, when you invite a guest, you respect them. This is our
tradition, required by our culture. And I know that American people
have that culture, as well. Last year, I wanted to go to the site of
the September 11th tragedy to show respect to the victims of the
tragedy, to show my sympathy with their families.

But our plans got overextended. We were involved in negotiations and
meetings until midnight. And they said it would be very difficult to
go visit the site at that late hour of the night. So, I told my
friends then that they need to plan this for the following year so
that I can go and visit the site and to show my respects.

Regretfully, some groups had very strong reactions, very bad
reactions. It’s bad for someone to prevent someone to show sympathy to
the families of the victims of the September 11 event — tragic event.
This is a respect from my side. Somebody told me this is an insult. I
said, “What are you saying? This is my way of showing my respect. Why
would you think that?”

Thinking like that, how do you expect to manage the world and world
affairs?

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Don’t you think that a lot of
problems in the world come from the way you look at issues because of
this kind of way of thinking, because of this sort of pessimistic
approach toward a lot of people, because of a certain level of
selfishness, self-absorption that needs to be put aside so that we can
show respect to everyone, to allow an environment for friendship to
grow, to allow all nations to talk with one another and move toward peace?

What was the second question?

I wanted to speak with the press. The September 11th tragic event was
a huge event. It led to a lot of many other events afterwards. After
9/11 Afghanistan was occupied, and then Iraq was occupied. And for six
years in our region there is insecurity, terror and fear.

If the root causes of 9/11 are examined properly — why it was
happened, what caused it, what were the conditions that led to it, who
truly was involved, who was really involved — and put it all together
to understand how to prevent the crisis in Iraq, fix the problem in
Afghanistan and Iraq combined.

QUESTION: Mr. President, a number of questions have asked about your
nuclear program. Why is your government seeking to acquire enriched
uranium suitable for nuclear weapons? Will you stop doing so?

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Our nuclear program, first and
foremost, operates within the framework of law.

And, second, under the inspections of the IAEA.

And, thirdly, they are completely peaceful.

The technology we have is for enrichment below the level of 5 percent
level.

AHMADINEJAD: And any level below 5 percent is solely for providing
fuel to power plants. Repeated reports by the IAEA explicitly say that
there is no indication that Iran has deviated from the peaceful path
of its nuclear program.

We are all well aware that Iran’s nuclear issue is a political issue.
It’s not a legal issue. The international atomic energy organization
— agency has verified that our activities are for peaceful purposes.

But there are two or three powers that think that they have the right
to monopolize all science and knowledge. And they expect the Iranian
people, the Iranian nation, to turn to others to get fuel, to get
science, to get knowledge that’s indigenous to itself, to humble
itself. And then they would, of course, refrain from giving it to us, too.

So we’re quite clear what we need.

If you have created the fifth generation of atomic bombs and are
testing them already, what position are you in to question the
peaceful purposes of other people who want nuclear power?

We do not believe in nuclear weapons, period. It goes against the
whole grain of humanity.

(APPLAUSE)

So let me just joke — try to tell a joke here. I think the
politicians who are after atomic bombs or are testing them, making
them, politically, they are backward, retarded.

(APPLAUSE)

QUESTION: Mr. President, a final question. I know your time is short
and that you need to move on. Is Iran prepared to open broad
discussions with the government of the United States?

What would Iran hope to achieve in such discussions?

How do you see, in the future, a resolution of the points of conflict
between the government of the United States and the government of Iran?

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): From the start, we announced that we
are ready to negotiate with all countries.

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Since 28 years ago, when our
revolution succeeded and we established, we took freedom and democracy
that was held at bay by a pro-Western dictatorship. We announced our
readiness that besides two countries, we are ready to have friendly
relations and talks with all countries of the world.

One of those two was the apartheid regime of South Africa, which has
been eliminated. And the second was the Zionist regime. For everybody
else around the world, we announced that we want to have friendly,
brotherly ties. The Iranian nation is a cultured nation. It is a
civilized nation. It seeks — it wants talks and negotiations. It’s
for it.

We believe that in negotiations and talks, everything can be resolved
very easily. We don’t need threats. We don’t need to point bombs or
guns. We don’t need to get into conflicts if we talk. We have a clear
logic about that.

We question the way the world is being run and managed today. We
believe that it will not lead to viable peace and security for the
world, the way it’s run today. We have solutions based on humane
values and for relations among states. With the U.S. government, too,
we will negotiate — we don’t have any issues about that — under
fair, just circumstances with mutual respect on both sides.

You saw that in order to help the security of Iraq, we had three
rounds of talks with the United States, and last year, before coming
to New York, I announced that I am ready in the United Nations to
engage in a debate with Mr. Bush, the president of the United States,
about critical international issues.

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): So that shows that we want to talk.
Having a debate before the all the audience, so the truth is revealed,
so that misunderstandings and misperceptions are removed, so that we
can find a clear path for brotherly and friendly relations.

I think that if the U.S. administration, if the U.S. government puts
aside some of its old behaviors, it can actually be a good friend for
the Iranian people, for the Iranian nation.

For 28 years, they’ve consistently threatened us, insulted us,
prevented our scientific development, every day, under one pretext or
another.

You all know Saddam, the dictator, was supported by the government of
the United States and some European countries in attacking Iran. And
he carried out an eight-year war, a criminal war. Over 200,000
Iranians lost their lives. Over 600,000 Iranians were hurt as a result
of the war.

He used chemical weapons. Thousands of Iranians were victims of
chemical weapons that he used against us.

Today, Mr. Noble Vinn (ph), who is a reporter, an official reporter,
international reporter, who was covering U.N. reports in the U.N. for
many years, he is one of the victims of the chemical weapons used by
Iraq against us.

And since then, we’ve been under different propaganda, sort of
embargoes, economic sanctions, political sanctions. Why? Because we
got rid of a dictator? Because we wanted the freedom and democracy
that we got for ourselves? That, we can’t understand.

We think that if the U.S. government recognizes the rights of the
Iranian people, respects all nations and extends a hand of friendship
with all Iranians, they, too, will see that Iranians will be one of
its best friends.

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Would you allow me to thank the
audience a moment?

Well, there are many things that I would have liked to cover, but I
don’t want to take your time any further. I was asked: Would I allow
the faculty at Columbia and students here to come to Iran? From this
platform, I invite Columbia faculty members and students to come and
visit Iran, to speak with our university students. You’re officially
invited.

(APPLAUSE)

University faculty and students that the university decides, or the
student associations choose and select are welcome to come. You’re
welcome to visit any university that you choose inside Iran. We’ll
provide you with the list of the universities. There are over 400
universities in our country. And you can choose whichever you want to
go and visit. We’ll give you the platform. We’ll respect you 100
percent. We will have our students sit there and listen to you, speak
with you, hear what you have to say.

Right now in our universities on a daily basis there are hundreds of
meetings like this. They hear, they talk, they ask questions. They
welcome it.

In the end I’d like to thank Columbia University. I had heard that
many politicians in the United States are trained in Columbia
University. And there are many people here who believe in the freedom
of speech, in clear, frank conversations.

I do like to extend my gratitude to the managers here in the United
States — at Columbia University, I apologize — the people who so
well organized this meeting today.

AHMADINEJAD (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I’d like to extend my deepest
gratitude to the faculty members and the students here. I ask Almighty
God to assist all of us to move hand in hand to establish peace and
future filled with friendship and justice and brotherhood.

Best of luck to all of you.

(APPLAUSE)

MODERATOR: I’m sorry that President Ahmadinejad’ s schedule makes it
necessary for him to leave before he’s been able to answer many of the
questions that we have, or even answer some of the ones that we posed
to him.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

But I think we can all be pleased that his appearance here
demonstrates Columbia’s deep commitment to free expression and debate.
I want to thank you all for coming to participate.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you.
Silahkan kunjungi irantube.com, untuk melihat empat penggalan ceramah Mahmoud Ahmadinejad di Universitas Colombia.

Bisa juga dilihat di:

http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=pAM5S4lhMGw

4 thoughts on “Ahmadinejad di Universitas Columbia

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