THE INTRODUCTION BY THE PRESIDENT OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY,Lee Bollinger
Comments by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose remarks were translated from Farsi.
—On a toughly worded criticism in the introduction by Columbia University president Lee Bollinger, who called him a "petty and cruel dictator":
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.
—On the Holocaust:
Why is it that the Palestinian people are paying the price for an event they had nothing to do with?
—On Holocaust deniers:
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?
—On Israel as a Jewish state:
We love all nations. We are friends with the Jewish people. There are many Jews living in Iran with security. You must understand that in our constitution and our laws and the parliamentary elections for every 150,000 people we get one representative in the parliament. For the Jewish community one-fifth of this number they still get one independent representative in the parliament. Our proposal to the Palestinian plight is a humanitarian and a 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.
—On nuclear research:
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.
Why did this happen? What caused it? What conditions led to it? .. Who truly was involved? Who was really involved and put it all together?
—On executions of homosexuals in Iran:
In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country. We don't have that like in your country. ... In Iran we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who's told you that we have this.
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