President Ahmadinejad, in his somewhat rambling letter to Bush, encourages him to abandon democracy in favor of theocracy. (Sam Harris might observe that America wouldn’t have far to go in that respect.) The Iranian leader also criticized Bush’s use of secret CIA prisons, and mentioned the nuclear issue only indirectly.
N.Y. Times article on the letter
The translated letter in full
Condoleezza Rice dismisses the letter
In his letter to President Bush, Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, declared that Western-style democracy had failed and that the use of secret prisons in Europe and aspects of the war in Iraq could not be reconciled with Mr. Bush’s Christian values. But the letter did not address directly the central issue that divides the two countries: Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
In his wide-ranging letter, written in Persian with an English translation, Mr. Ahmadinejad at times challenges and concedes as he directs question after question to Mr. Bush but offers no concrete proposals. In Iran today, the Iranian president portrayed it as a blueprint of “suggestions for resolving the many problems facing humanity,” the Iranian news agency IRNA reported.
State Department officials who read the letter suggested that it offered an interesting window into the mentality and thinking of Iran, especially because it seemed to reflect a inclination to dwell on myriad grievances of the past rather than on the problem at hand, namely Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program.
Mr. George Bush, President of the United States of America
For sometime now I have been thinking, how one can justify the undeniable contradictions that exist in the international arena—which are being constantly debated, specially 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 towards 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; The lives, reputations and possessions of people destroyed and on the slight chance of the ? of a ? criminals in a village city, or convoy for example the entire village, city or convey set ablaze. Or because of the possibility of the existence of WMDs in one country, it is occupied, around one hundred thousand people killed, its water sources, agriculture and industry destroyed, close to 180,000 foreign troops put on the ground, sanctity of private homes of citizens broken, and the country pushed back perhaps fifty 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 ? put in harms way, taken away from family and love ones, their hands stained with the blood of others, subjected to so much psychological pressure that everyday some commit suicide ant those returning home suffer depression, become sickly and grapple with all sorts of aliments; while some are killed and their bodies handed of their families.
On the pretext of the existence of WMDs, this great tragedy came to engulf both the peoples of the occupied and the occupying country. Later it was revealed that no WMDs existed to begin with.
AP Photo / Mehr News, Sajjad Safari
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a public gathering in the city of Abhar on April 28, 2006. In a letter to President Bush, Ahmadinejad vows that no one can make Tehran give up its nuclear technology and warns that the United States and its European allies will regret their decision if they “violate the rights of the Iranian nation.”