(photo credit: AP)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed that US and European efforts to economically isolate his country would backfire in an interview with CBS News that aired Monday night in the US. Ahmadinejad also rejected during the interview suggestions that Teheran was providing assistance to Taliban forces in Afghanistan.
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"I think the policies by the Europeans and the Americans are ridiculous. They think they are going to influence the life of the Iranian society," said Ahmadinejad. He continued, " In fact, they're imposing sanctions against themselves. Iran is a great nation with a great population. We have vast and rich resources and it's very much easy for us to overcome old problems."
Ahmadinejad also rejected assertions from classified US government documents publicized by Wikileaks
on Sunday that Iran was undermining the NATO-led war effort in Afghanistan by providing assistance to the Taliban.
"We do not support any group," Ahmadinejad responded to the accusations. "We only support the Afghan people... [a]nd we think the Afghan people should run their own country."
Earlier in July, Ahmadinejad called Iran's enemies "idiots" and
said that UN sanctions would not make his country abandon its nuclear
program in a speech addressing Iranian industrialists broadcasted live on state television.
The Iranian leader said in that speech that sanctions would only help
Iran, forcing it toward achieving greater economic self-sufficiency.