Letter from Iran's President Ahmadinejad to George W. Bush
In this wide-ranging letter to the President of the United States, Iran's President Ahmadinejad challenges American policy and George W. Bush's adherence to his religious beliefs. He also takes Washington to task for the 1953 CIA-coup, defends the taking of the American Embassy in 1978, complains of the freezing of Iran's assets, explains why Israel has no right to exist, and suggests that September 11 was an inside job. [4,000 words].
May 9, 2006
Iran - IRIB News - Original Article (English)
The following is the text of the letter of President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad to American President George W. Bush.
Mr. George Bush,
President of the United States of America,
For sometime now I have been thinking about how one can justify
the undeniable contradictions that exist in the international arena - which are
being constantly debated, especially in political forums and amongst university
students. Many questions remain unanswered. These have prompted me to discuss
some of the contradictions and questions, in the hopes that it might bring
about an opportunity to redress them.
Can one be a follower of Jesus Christ (PBUH), the great messenger
of God, feel obliged to respect human rights; present liberalism as a
civilization model; announce one's opposition to the proliferation of nuclear
weapons and WMDs; make "war and terror" his slogan; and finally, work
toward the establishment of a unified international community - a community
which Christ and the virtuous of the earth will one day govern, but at the same
time, have countries attacked?
Can one have the lives, reputations and possessions of people
destroyed on the slim chance of the presence of a few criminals in a village,
city or convoy for example? Is this worth setting an entire village, city or
Because of the possibility of the existence of WMDs in a country
[Iraq], it is occupied; about 100,000 are people killed; its water sources,
agriculture and industry are destroyed; close to 180,000 foreign troops are put
on the ground; the sanctity of the private homes of citizens are broken, and the country is set back perhaps 50
years. At what price?
Hundreds of billions of dollars spent from the treasury of one
country and certain other countries and tens of thousands of young men and
women - as occupation troops are put in harms way, taken away from family and
loved ones, their hands stained with the blood of others, are subjected to such
psychological pressure that everyday some commit suicide and those that return
home suffer depression, become ill and grapple with all sorts of aliments;
while some are killed and their bodies handed to their families.
On the pretext of the
existence of WMDs, this great tragedy has come to engulf both the peoples of
the occupied and the occupying country.
Later it was revealed that no WMDs existed to begin with.
Of course, Saddam was a murderous dictator. But the war was not
waged to topple him or the announced goal of finding and destroying Weapons of
Mass Destruction. He was toppled on the way to another goal; nevertheless the
people of the region are happy that he [Saddam] is gone. I point out that
throughout the many years of war that were imposed on Iran, Saddam was
supported by the West.
You might know that I am a teacher. My students ask me how these
actions can be reconciled with the values outlined at the beginning of this
letter and the duty to the tradition of Jesus Christ (PBUH), the messenger of
peace and forgiveness?
There are prisoners in Guantanamo Bay that have not been tried,
have no legal representation and their families cannot see them as they are
obviously kept in a strange land outside their own country. There is no
international monitoring of their condition or fate. No one knows whether they
are prisoners, POWs, accused or criminals.
European investigators have confirmed the existence of secret
prisons in Europe, as well. I couldn't correlate the abduction of a person, and
him or her being kept in secret prisons, with the provisions of any judicial
system. For that matter, I fail to understand how such actions correspond to
the values outlined in the beginning of this letter, I.E. the teachings of
Jesus Christ (PBUH), human rights and liberal values.
Young people, university students, and ordinary people have many
questions about the phenomenon of Israel. I am sure you are familiar with some
Throughout history many countries have been occupied, but I think
the establishment of a new country with a new people, is a new phenomenon that
is exclusive to our times.
Students are saying that 60 years ago, such a country did not
exist. They show old documents and globes and say that try as they might, they
have been unable to find a country named Israel.
I tell them to study the history of WWI and II. One of my students
told me that during WWII, during which tens of millions of people perished,
news about the war was quickly disseminated by the warring parties. Each touted
their victories and the most recent battlefront defeat of the other party.
After the war they claimed that six million Jews had been killed. Six million
people that were surely related to at least two million families. Again let us
assume that these events are true. Does that logically translate into the
establishment of the state of Israel in the Middle East or support for such a
state? How can this phenomenon be rationalized or explained?
I am sure you know how - and at what cost - Israel was
- Many thousands were killed in the process.
- Millions of indigenous people were turned into refugees.
- Hundreds of thousands of hectares of farmland, olive
plantations, towns and villages were destroyed.
This tragedy is not exclusive to the time of establishment;
unfortunately it has been ongoing for 60 years now. A regime has been
established which does not show mercy even to children, destroys houses while
the occupants are still in them, announces beforehand its list and plans to
assassinate Palestinian figures, and keeps thousands of Palestinians in prison.
Such a phenomenon is unique - or at the very least extremely rare - in recent
Another big question asked by the people is, "Why is this
regime being supported?" Is support for this regime in line with the
teachings of Jesus Christ (PBUH) or Moses (PBUH) or liberal values? Or are we
to understand that allowing the original inhabitants of these lands - inside
and outside Palestine - whether they are Christian, Muslim or Jew, to determine
their fate, runs contrary to the principles of democracy, human rights and the
teachings of the prophets? If not, why is there so much opposition to a referendum?
A newly elected Palestinian administration recently took office
All independent (observers) have confirmed that this government
represents the electorate. Unbelievably, these observers have put the elected
government under pressure and have advised it to recognize the Israeli regime,
abandon the struggle and follow the programs of the previous government.
If the current Palestinian government had run on the above
platform, would the Palestinian people have voted for it? Again, can such a position
taken [by the West] in opposition to the Palestinian government be reconciled
with the values outlined earlier? The people are also saying "why are all U.N.
Security Council resolutions in condemnation of Israel vetoed?"
As you are well aware, I live amongst the people and am in
constant touch with them - and many people from around the Middle East manage
to contact me as well. They have no faith in these dubious policies either.
There is evidence that the people of the region are becoming increasingly angry
with such policies.
It is not my intention to pose too many questions, but I need to
refer to other points as well.
Why is it that any technological and scientific achievement
reached in the Middle East region is translated into and portrayed as a threat
to the Zionist regime? Is not scientific research and development one of the
basic rights of nations?
You are familiar with history. Aside from the Middle Ages, in what
other point in history has scientific and technical progress been a crime? Can
the possibility of scientific achievement for military purposes be reason
enough to oppose science and technology altogether? If such a supposition is
true, then all scientific disciplines, including physics, chemistry,
mathematics, medicine, engineering, etc. must be opposed.
Lies were told in the Iraqi matter. What was the result? I have no
doubt that telling lies is reprehensible in any culture, and that you yourself do
not like to be lied to.
Don't Latin Americans have the right to ask why their elected
governments are being opposed and coup leaders supported? Or, why they must constantly
be threatened and live in fear?
The people of Africa are hardworking, creative and talented. They
can play an important and valuable role in providing for the needs of humanity
and contribute to its material and spiritual progress. Poverty and hardship in
large parts of Africa are preventing this from taking place. Don't they have a
right to ask why their enormous wealth - including minerals - is being looted,
despite the fact that they need it more than anyone else?
Again, do such actions correspond to the teachings of Christ and
the tenets of human rights?
The brave and faithful people of Iran also have many questions and
grievances, including: the coup d'etat of 1953 and subsequent toppling of the
legal government of the day, opposition to the Islamic Revolution,
transformation of an Embassy into a headquarters for supporting the activities
of those opposed to the Islamic Republic (many thousands of pages of documents
corroborate this claim), support for Saddam in the war waged against Iran, the
shooting down of the Iranian passenger plane, freezing the assets of the
Iranian nation, increasing threats, anger and displeasure vis-a-vis the
scientific and nuclear progress of the Iranian nation (just when all Iranians
are jubilant and celebrating their country's progress), and many other
grievances that I will not refer to in this letter.
September 11 was a horrendous incident. The killing of innocents
is deplorable and appalling in any part of the world. Our government
immediately declared its disgust with the perpetrators, offered its condolences
to the bereaved and expressed its sympathies.
All governments have a duty to protect the lives, property and
good standing of their citizens. Reportedly, your government employs extensive
security, protection and intelligence systems - and even hunts its opponents
abroad. September 11 was not a simple operation. Could it have been planned and
executed without coordination with intelligence and security services - or
their extensive infiltration? Of course this is just an educated guess. Why
have the various aspects of the attacks been kept secret? Why are we not told
who botched their responsibilities? And why aren't those responsible and the
guilty parties identified and put on trial?
All governments have a duty to provide security and peace of mind
for their citizens. For some years now, the people of your country and
neighbors of world trouble spots have had no peace of mind. After 9/11, instead
of healing and tending to the emotional wounds of the survivors and American
people - who had been immensely traumatized by the attacks - some Western media
only intensified the climate of fear and insecurity by constantly talking about
the possibility of new terrorist attacks. This kept the people in fear. Is that
a service to the American people? Is it possible to calculate the damage
incurred from fear and panic?
American citizens live in fear of fresh attacks that could come at
any time and any place. They feel insecure on the streets, in their places of
work and at home. Who would be happy with this situation? Why was the media,
instead of conveying a feeling of security and providing peace of mind, giving
rise to a feeling of insecurity?
Some believe that this hype paved the way - and was the
justification - for an attack on Afghanistan. Again I need to refer to the role
of media. In media charters, the correct dissemination of information and
honest reporting of a story are established tenets. I express my deep regret
about the disregard shown by certain Western media for these principles. The
main pretext for an attack on Iraq was the existence of WMDs. This was repeated
incessantly - for the public to finally believe - and the ground prepared for
an attack on Iraq.
Won't the truth be lost in such a contrived and deceptive climate?
Again, if the truth is allowed to be lost, how can that be reconciled with the
earlier mentioned values? Is the truth known to the Almighty lost as well?
In countries around the world, citizens provide for the expenses
of governments so that their governments in turn are able to serve them.
The question here is "what has the hundreds of billions of
dollars, spent every year to pay for the Iraqi campaign, produced for the
As your Excellency is aware, in some states of your country,
people are living in poverty. Many thousands are homeless and unemployment is a
huge problem. Of course these problems exist - to a larger or lesser extent -
in other countries as well. With these conditions in mind, can the gargantuan
expenses of the campaign -paid from the public treasury - be explained and be
consistent with the aforementioned principles?
What has been said are some of the grievances of the people around
the world, in our region and in your country, but my main contention -- which I
am hoping you will agree to some of is this:
Those in power have a specific time in office and so don't rule
indefinitely, but their names will be recorded in history and will be
constantly judged in the immediate and distant futures.
The people will scrutinize our presidencies. Did we (manage) to
bring peace, security and prosperity for the 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, did
we make a few people rich and powerful - thus trading the approval of the
people and the almighty with theirs? Did we defend the rights of the
underprivileged or ignore them? Did we defend the rights of all people around the
world or did we impose wars on them, interfere illegally in their affairs,
establish hellish prisons and incarcerate some of them? Did we bring the world
peace and security or raise the specter of intimidation and threats? Did we
tell the truth to our nations and others around the world or did present the opposite
of that? Were we on the side of the people or the occupiers and oppressors? Did
our administrations set out to promote rational behavior, logic, ethics, peace,
fulfilled obligations, justice, service to the people, prosperity, progress and
respect for human dignity, or the force of guns, intimidation, insecurity,
disregard for the people, the delay of progress in other nations, and the trampling
of people's rights? And finally, they will judge us on whether we remained true
- or not to our oaths of office - to serve the people, which is our main task,
and the traditions of the prophets.
How much longer can the world tolerate this situation? Where will
this trend lead the world to? How long must the people of the world pay for the
incorrect decisions of some rulers? How much longer will the specter of
insecurity - raised from the stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction - hunt
the people of the world? How much longer will the blood of the innocent men,
women and children be spilled on the streets, and people's houses destroyed
over their heads? Are you pleased with the current condition of the world? Do
you think present policies can continue?
If billions of dollars spent on security, military campaigns and
troop movements were instead spent on investment and assistance for poor
countries, promotion of health, combating diseases, education and improvement
of mental and physical fitness, assistance to the victims of natural disasters,
creation of employment opportunities and production, development projects and
poverty alleviation, the establishment of peace, mediation between disputing
states, and extinguishing the flames of racial, ethnic and other conflicts, where
would the world be today? Would not your government and people be justifiably
proud? Would not your administration's political and economic standing have
been stronger? And I am most sorry to say, would there have been an ever
increasing global hatred of the American government?
Mr. President, it is not my intention to distress anyone.
If Prophet Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ishmael, Joseph, or Jesus Christ
(PBUH) were with us today, how would they have judged such behavior? Will we be
given a role to play in the promised world, where justice will be universal and
Jesus Christ (PBUH) will be present? Will they even accept us?
My basic question is this: Is there no better way to interact with
the rest of the world? Today there are hundreds of millions of Christians,
hundreds of millions of Muslims and millions of people who follow the teachings
of Moses (PBUH). All Divine religions share and respect one word and that is
"monotheism" or belief in a single God and no other in the world.
The Holy Koran stresses this common word and calls on all
followers of Divine religions and says: (3.64) say: o followers of the book!
Come to an equitable proposition between us and you, that we shall not serve
any but Allah and (that) we shall not associate aught with him and (that) some
of us shall not take others for lords besides Allah; but if they turn back,
then say: bear witness that we are Muslims. (The family of Imran)
According to divine verses, we have all been called upon to
worship one God and follow the teachings of divine prophets. "To worship a
god which is above all powers in the world and can do all he pleases."
"The Lord which knows that which is hidden and visible, the
past and the future, knows what goes on in the hearts of his servants and records
"The lord who is the possessor of the heavens and the earth
and all the universe is his court, planning for the universe is done by his
hands, and gives his servants the glad tidings of mercy and forgiveness of sins
he is the companion of the oppressed and the enemy of oppressors
he is the
compassionate, the merciful
he is the recourse of the faithful and guides
them toward the light from dark ness
he is witness to the actions of his
he calls on servants to be faithful and do good deeds, and asks them
to stay on the path of righteousness and remain steadfast
calls on servants
to heed his prophets and he is a witness to their deeds
a bad ending belongs
only to those who have chosen the life of this world and disobey him and
oppress his servants" and "a good end and eternal paradise belong to
those servants who fear his majesty and do not follow their lascivious
We believe that a return to the teachings of the divine prophets
is the only road to salvation. I have been told that your Excellency follows
the teachings of Jesus (PBUH) and believes in the Divine promise of the rule of
the righteous on earth.
We also believe that Jesus Christ (PBUH) was one of the great
prophets of the Almighty. He has been repeatedly praised in the Koran. Jesus
(PBUH) has been quoted in the Koran as well: (19.36) and surely Allah is my
lord and your lord, therefore serve him; this is the right path. Mariam
Service to and obedience of the Almighty is the credo of all
The God of all people in Europe, Asia, Africa, America, the
Pacific and the rest of the world is one. He is the Almighty who wants to guide
and give dignity to all his servants. He has given greatness to humans.
We again read in the holy book: "The Almighty god sent his
prophets with miracles and clear signs to guide the people and show them Divine
signs and purify them from sins and pollutions. And he sent the book and the
balance so that the people display justice and avoid the rebellious."
All of the above verses can be seen, one way or the other, in the good book as
well. Divine prophets have promised: The day will come when all humans will
congregate before the court of the Almighty, so that their deeds are examined.
The good will be directed toward (heaven) and the evildoers will meet divine
retribution. I trust both of us believe in such a day, but it will not be easy
to calculate the actions of rulers, because we must be answerable to our
nations and all others whose lives have been directly or indirectly affected by
All prophets speak of peace and tranquility for man - based on monotheism,
justice and respect for human dignity.
Do you not think that if all of us come to believe in and abide by these
principles, that is, monotheism, worship of God, justice, respect for the
dignity of man, belief in the last day, we can overcome the present problems of
the world - which are the result of disobedience to the Almighty and the
teachings of prophets that we can improve our performance?
Do you not think that belief in these principles promotes and guarantees peace,
friendship and justice?
Do you not think that the aforementioned written or unwritten principles are
Will you not accept this invitation? That is, a genuine return to
the teachings of prophets, to monotheism and justice, to preserve human dignity
and obedience to the Almighty and his prophets?
History tells us that repressive and cruel governments do not
survive. God has not entrusted the fate of men to them. The Almighty has not
left the universe and humanity to their own devices. Many things have happened
contrary to the wishes and plans of governments. These tell us that there is a
higher power at work and all events are determined by him.
Can one deny the signs of change in the world today? Is the
situation of the world today comparable to that of ten years ago? Change comes
at a furious pace.
The people of the world are unhappy with the status quo and pay
little heed to the promises and comments made by a number of influential world
leaders. Many people around the world feel insecure and oppose the spreading of
insecurity and war and don't approve of or accept dubious policies.
The people are protesting the increasing gap between the haves and
the have-nots and the rich and poor countries.
The people are disgusted with increasing corruption.
The people of many countries are angry about the attacks on their
cultural foundations and the disintegration of families. They are equally
dismayed with the fading of care and compassion. The people of the world have
no faith in international organizations, because their rights are not advocated
by these organizations.
Liberalism and Western style democracy have not helped realize the
ideals of humanity. Today these two concepts have failed. Those with insight
can already hear the sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and
thoughts of liberal democratic systems.
We increasingly see that people around the world are flocking
toward a main focal point - which is Almighty God. Undoubtedly through faith in
God and the teachings of the Prophets, the people will conquer their problems.
My question for you is: "Do you not want to join them?"
Whether we like it or not, the world is gravitating toward faith
in the Almighty and justice and the will of God will prevail over all things.
Vasalam Ala Man Ataba'al Hoda
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
VIDEO FROM IRAN: AHMADINEJAD DETAILS HIS PLANS FOR JEWS
Iranian News Channel, Iran: Excerpts from a speech delivered by Iranian President Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, wherein he charges that the Europeans murdered the Jews to scare them into fleeing to Israel, April 24, 00:006:14, MEMRI
"Why did you turn Europe in its entirety into a place unsafe for the Jews? Could there possibly be another reason than creating unsafe conditions for the Jews, so they would flee and find shelter in Palestine?"
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad