Continuing his tirade against the West, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the US and NATO can no longer dictate policy for the rest of the world and warned that the NATO policy in Afghanistan and other countries would make Western relations with Pakistan worse.
"NATO and the United States should change their policy because the time when they dictate their conditions to the world has passed," Ahmadinejad said in a speech in Dushanbe, capital of the Central Asian republic of Tajikistan, Reuters reported. "It's better to respect nations than to scare them and colonize them. The time of imperialism has long gone. Those who do not learn from the mistakes of history will be punished."
Blaming the West's worsening relations with Pakistan on NATO's stringent policy in Afghanistan, Ahmadinejad said: "Relations between NATO and Pakistan - their unsteadiness and instability will only grow."
"The main reason for the difficulties in the world is the policy of NATO member countries, undertaken with the aim of reviving colonialism," he added.
The US delegation attending the conference, headed by Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake, was not present during Ahmadinejad's speech. Iranian President didn't make any reference to Tehran's alleged clandestine nuclear weapons program during the speech.
He said he believed Afghanistan was capable of running its own affairs, and didn't need the help of US troops.
He alleged that NATO members, "most of all the United States," are using the guise of war on terrorism to surround India, Russia and China.
Ahmadinejad also called for NATO-funded revival of Afghan economy using 25 per cent of its military expenditure on Afghanistan.
This is the second time this month the Iranian president has indulged in a war of words with the US. On Mar.12, on a visit to the town of Karaj, west of Tehran, he hinted that his country will not back away from its nuclear ambitions in the face of a possible US-backed Israeli military strike.
"The Iranian nation doesn't fear your bombs and warships and planes. Such weapons are worth nothing," the Fars News Agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.
"You say to Iran all options are on the table. Leave them there until they rot. The time of arrogance and colonialism has passed, and the era of your unreasonableness passes too," he said.
The international community is hoping that the widespread consensus on substantial sanctions and unilateral penalties will force Ahmadinejad to back away from building nukes. However, Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu has already made it clear that the Jewish state considers nuclear Iran an existential threat and that it is strategizing ways for a preemptive military strike on Tehran.
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