Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Monday that Iran would not attack Israel or any other country, and he does not believe the U.S. is preparing for war against Iran. "Iran will not attack any country," Ahmadinejad told The Associated Press, when asked if his country would ever strike first against Israel. Iran has always maintained a defensive policy, not an offensive one, he said, and has "never sought to expand its territory."
He said he did not believe the U.S. was preparing for war. "I believe that some of the talk in this regard arises first of all from anger. Secondly, it serves the electoral purposes domestically in this country. Third, it serves as a cover for policy failures over Iraq."
Ahmadinejad dismissed statesments by U.S. military officers and intelligence reports that Iran secretly provides weapons to armed groups fighting against U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Why would we want to do that?" Ahmadinejad asked. "This would really be inappropriate for us. We are friends with both Iraq and Afghanistan. Insecurity in Iraq and Afghanistan undermines our own national security; it basically goes against what we believe."
Referring to fears of a military campaign against Iran, he said: "We don't think you can compensate for one mistake by committing more mistakes."
In his first comments on a reported attack Sept. 6 by Israeli bombers inside Syria, Ahmadinejad questioned why Israel would attack Syria at all. He accused Israel of "expansionist policies" and said the reported attack was "an aimless policy in a way, just a show of power, and has nothing to do with Iran."