Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad gives off the air of mad self-importance and benighted self-pity common to almost all powerful men, but he does give a good interview. He often obfuscates, but in doings so gives his interviewers just enough room to hang themselves, and they oblige, coming off as merely hectoring. Iran must do this. Iran must do that. Iran must show a sign. While the Iranian President responds plainly, speaking on the nuclear question:
If a technology is beneficial, everyone should have it. If it is not, no one should have it. Can it be ... [that] we are not even permitted to pursue the peaceful use of nuclear energy? Our logic is completely clear: equal rights for all. The composition of the Security Council and the veto of its five permanent members are consequences of World War II, which ended 60 years ago. Must the victorious powers dominate mankind for evermore, and must they constitute the world government? The composition of the Security Council must be changed.Which is hard to quibble with.
Predictably, Ahmedinejad dissembles on on his position on the scale of the Holocaust, speaking with deliberate ambivalence. This is callous and condemnable, but as the American President (and his predecessors) perform the same rhetorical dance regarding the Armenian genocide, one can hardly call Ahmedinejad uniquely callous or disingenuous regarding the legacy of mass killing in the 20th century.