Ahmadinejad: Israeli, U.S. threats don't affect Iranian policy
The Iranian president tells CNN that he is 'quite popular,' and that his stance on Israel was supported by most Americans if not by their news outlets.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said American and Israeli threats to stop Iran's nuclear program have no effect on his country's policies. Speaking to Fareed Zakaria on CNN's GPS in an interview aired Sunday, the Iranian president explained that Iran is a "vast country," so were "a couple of bombs be set to explode," the country would not be destroyed.
Ahmadinejad made his point clearer when he told Zakaria that even if Israel did decide to attack, it would not "affect us fundamentally."
When Zakaria asked the Iranian president if he understood why people were concerned with his rhetoric regarding "wiping Israel off the map" coupled with his country's nuclear program, Ahmadinejad became cross. "[H]ow do you pretend to speak on behalf of the people?" he asked Zakaria. "Have people given you their vote of confidence in order to represent their all-encompassing view?"
Evidently, Ahmadinejad believes his policies toward Israel are popular around the world, even in the United States. At one point in the interview, he told Zakaria "You must know, as a member of the media, you must know that Ahmadinejad is quite popular, is quite loved, and loves everyone equally."
Ahmadinejad told his interviewer that the views he was presenting as the views of the American people were, in fact, merely the views of CNN. "Let's go to the streets of New York tonight, right now. And let's interview the people and find out what they say," he said.
Zakaria asked an agitated Ahmadinejad why he hasn't called for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down and end the bloodshed in his country. Ahmadinejad said he did not believe that this would stop the bloodshed.