New Delhi: In an exclusive conversation with WION, former President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Iran’s relationship with India has ‘far more potential’ than the ties with China.
While discussing the recently signed Iran–China 25-year Cooperation Program on WION’s Global Leadership Series, Ahmadinejad said “the potential of cooperation between Iran and India is far much more than what the capacity between Iran and China is.”
“In Iran, there has been a lot of debate over that country (China), it is ongoing…Regarding the China deal, no clear information has been published in Iran, that is why Iranian people look at it with doubt.” With regards to India, he said, “the volume of communications that we have today to our capacity and commonality is extremely small… as a fundamental strategy we need to do our best to ensure that we utilize the maximum available capacity.”
The former Iranian President also criticised the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. While speaking about the current situation in Afghanistan with WION’s Executive Editor Palki Sharma Upadhyay, Ahmadinejad said he believes that the “Taliban is part of the American plot.” Ahmadinejad believes that “the Americans have in practice not gone out of the region and in fact, they have new plots designed and they are supporting the Taliban.” Ahmadinejad was also critical of the role of the neighbours of Afghanistan. When asked who was meddling in Afghanistan, Ahmadinejad said, “All neighbours are”.
He also criticised Pakistan’s involvement in Afghanistan, saying “Anybody in any part of the world, who considers themselves as the basis and the symbol of a religion and tries to force upon others its will by weapons and arms is going to be a serious threat and danger to all nations and countries… all those supporting the Taliban should know that if the Taliban is settled down and take power, they would soon revolt against themselves and endanger the security.”
Speaking about the current leadership of Iran, he said President-elect Ebrahim Raisi faces a challenge to “restore national trust…Everywhere, things are based on the people and the energy that propels and takes it forward is the will of the people,” and the people “don’t trust the managers and decision-makers,” he said.
Ahmadinejad was one of several candidates barred from running in this year’s election by Iran’s Guardian Council. He had earlier refused to vote in the 2021 Presidential election.