Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad challenged Obama to a verbal duel. The Iranian President made a statement on August 2 asking his American counterpart Barack Obama to take part in televised debates, and hold talks on key international issues.
According to Ahmadinejad, “We will be ready for talks with Mr. Obama in front of the media when we go to New York to attend the UN General Assembly at the end of the (Iranian calendar) month of Shahrivar (mid to late September). We are ready to sit down with Mr Obama face-to-face and put the global issues on the table, man-to-man, freely, and in front of the media and see whose solutions are better.”
The Iranian President plans that each of the leaders will present his solutions to contemporary global issues so that independent experts can assess whose approach is better.
Of course, even during this call to a duel,” Ahmadinejad could not refrain from criticizing Obama for the “missed opportunities in restoring the US-Iranian relations.” Incidentally, the relations were broken in 1979, by representatives of Ayatollah regime that came to power after the Islamic revolution. The current Iranian president was a supporter of this regime.
Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad blames America for everything. According to him, the further deterioration in relations was caused by the fact that the U.S. President “supports the Zionists.” According to Ahmadinejad, Obama is pressured. "Somebody should answer questions whether the US government is dominated by the Zionists or the Zionist regime is controlled by the US government," Ahmadinejad questioned.
The goal of such debates, according to Ahmadinejad, is to prove the peaceful intentions of Iran (in the context of intransigence on its own nuclear program). “We are ready to negotiate. We have always been a supporter of logic and dialogue. Iranians have never moved forward with a sword," said Ahmadinejad.
The statement is clearly contradictory. It is well known that in ancient times, Persians have repeatedly attacked their neighbors, including the Greek states and Lydia. They terrorized their neighbors in later times as well, for example, in the 18th and 19th centuries, making devastating raids on Armenian and Georgian lands, and repeatedly fought against Russia.
As for these days, the Iranian leader has not made any direct war threats to the United States. This can be explained by long distance separating the two countries, or the American military might. Yet, other countries received such threats on a regular basis. For example, during his five years in office, the Iranian President has repeatedly threatened to destroy Israel.
Once in power, Ahmadinejad has significantly strengthened previous anti-Israel policies of Ayatollah regime. He does not hesitate to publicly deny the Holocaust claiming that: “The Zionist regime must be wiped off the face of the earth,” "Opposition to Israel is a national and religious duty", "All countries of the region are enemies of Israel and will soon destroy it", " the territory allocated by UN to Israel should belong completely to the Palestinian State", "Israel pursues a policy of racism, fascism and apartheid"; "The Jewish state can be created somewhere where there is more space (Europe, Canada, etc.)."
The relations between Iran and other countries in the region leave much to be desired. All Gulf countries are anxiously watching the growing power of the Islamic Republic and the development of its nuclear program. Iran has territorial disputes with many of them, for example, with Emirates. Other countries (like Bahrain) are not recognized by Tehran that considers them a part of its territory.
Let us return to Ahmadinejad's proposal to meet with Obama. The Iranian leader has been cherishing the idea of debating on television with the leader of the most powerful country in the world for a long time. For example, he made the same proposition a couple of years ago to former U.S. President George W. Bush. Of course, for Ahmadinejad such verbal duel would be very beneficial as self-praise. The debate would bring him to a public dispute with the “world's policeman.” In addition, the American position (because of Bush’s actions in Iraq and Afghanistan) was initially vulnerable. At the time it would have been easy for Ahmadinejad to throw rotten tomatoes at the U.S. leader. Of course, Bush has refused.
Obama said no, which means that the clouds over Iran continue to pile up. American politicians (not just the Republican Party) talk about the theoretical (at the moment) possibility of solving the Iranian nuclear issue by military means increasingly more often. The Americans have already brought heavy duty seven-, ten-and 12-ton bombs designed to destroy large objects to their strategic bombers base, Diego Garcia, located in the Indian Ocean. In addition, there are several U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups already in the region. So there is a very good chance that soon it will no longer be politicians arguing but the military on the battlefield.