Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here on Wednesday said if Washington revises its attitude, resumption of ties between Iran and the US will be possible, stressing that his country seeks friendly and extensive ties with all the world nations, except for Israel. Speaking during his first press conference in the new Iranian year (i.e. from March 21,2007 to March 20, 2008), the Iranian president said in response to a Fox News question about possibility of the resumption of ties between Iran and the US that these were the Americans themselves who cut relations with Iran.
“They thought that if they cut the ties, our nation would have to go under much pressure, but this did not come true,” he said, and continued, “With the present kind of attitude shown by the US, no world nation is willing to establish ties with the US.”
Meantime, Ahmadinejad said his country does not rule out resumption of ties with the US, and mentioned that Washington intends to impose its aspirations on the Islamic Republic, adding, “But if they revise their behavior, there is a possibility for making revisions on our side.”
Elsewhere, the Iranian president pointed to the issue of the 15 British troops, and called on Blair’s administration not to punish the 8 sailors and 7 marines for the confessions they have made about trespassing on Iran’s territorial waters.
Earlier in the same conference, Ahmadinejad pardoned the 15 British troops who had been arrested on March 23rd after trespassing on Iran’s territorial waters.
Ahmadinejad criticized the militaristic policies of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and said all the 15 troops, including 8 sailors and 7 British marines, will be released in a bid to show the Iranians’ Islamic kindness.
He said he has issued the order on the occasion of the birthday anniversary of the Prophet of Islam.
Also during the same press conference, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad awarded a third degree medal of courage to the commander of Iran’s southwest coast guards, Captain Abol-Ghassem Amangah.
“Everyone should know that the great Iranian nation has defended its rights and land with full authority and power,” Ahmadinejad underscored.
He further expressed regret over the dispatch of the British youths to Iraq and their arrest in Iranian waters, and asked, “Why should the most cumbersome missions, such as sea patrolling, be assigned to a mother, why does the western civilization not care for family values?”
The president also stated, “Unfortunately, Mr. Blair’s administration took the ploy and started hues and cries about the issue and took the case to the UN Security Council.”
He lashed out at the UN Security Council, the European Union (EU) and western governments, specially France for making statements in support of London without launching any investigation on the issue.
Ahmadinejad asked what action the western governments and the EU member states would take if anyone trespassed on their own territories.
He further blamed the improper performance of the British government for the prolongation of the issue.
“We did not intend to produce continued conflicts out of the issue. Releasing the sailors was procrastinated because the British government acted badly,” the president underlined.
He further ruled out that Iran intended to swap the British troops with its kidnapped diplomats in Iraq, and stressed that the Islamic Republic has released the sailors as a gift to the British people.
Ahmadinejad said that the British government has undertaken not to repeat trespassing on Iran’s territorial waters.
“But this decision (releasing the British troops) was not adopted as a result of the said pledge, rather this decision was Iran’s gift to the British people,” he continued.