(photo credit: AP)
Whoever controls the
controls the world’s “energy and wealth,” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
was quoted by IRNA as saying Saturday.
Ahmadinejad told an audience in Teheran, “Many countries
have, unsuccessfully, tried during the past years to become a superpower in the
region but they failed as they play no role at the international equations.”
“It is now clear that whoever dominates the can rule the entire world too,” he added.
According to the Iranian official news agency, Ahmadinejad
also predicted the end of the world hegemonic system, as international problems
had not been resolved.
“In terms of economic issues, the world hegemonic system
reached a deadline while regarding political events, it failed to solve the
existing problems and is no longer powerful from the military aspect,” he was
quoted as saying.
In related news, meanwhile, put 16 opposition supporters detained
during anti-government protests last month on trial Saturday on charges of
rioting and conspiring against the ruling system, according to 's state
The official IRNA news agency and
state Press TV said the defendants face charges ranging from plotting against
the establishment to violating security regulations. Five of those on trial,
including two women, were accused of "moharebeh," or defying God, a
charge that could carry the death penalty, the semiofficial ISNA news agency
The new prosecutions, coupled with
the execution on Thursday of two men accused of involvement in anti-government
groups, could mark an attempt by Iran's hardline leaders to intimidate the
opposition ahead of a new round of street demonstrations expected in February.
Those who stood trial Saturday —
including a follower of the Bahai faith, an alleged communist and a student
activist — were detained during anti-government demonstrations on December 27,
when at least eight people were killed and hundreds more were arrested after
clashes between opposition activists and security forces. The violence was the
worst since authorities launched a harsh crackdown immediately after 's disputed
presidential election in June.
The protesters have presented 's
cleric-led establishment with its biggest challenge since the 1979 revolution
despite a brutal crackdown that has left hundreds imprisoned.
IRNA quoted a prosecutor identified
only by the last name of Farahani as saying in court that some of the
defendants had confessed to spying, planning bomb attacks and damaging public
and private properties. He also said some of the defendants had sent videos on
the clashes between protesters and Iranian police to the "foreign hostile
networks," IRNA reported.