Ahmadinejad: Wars behind US meltdown

Tuesday, Sept 23, 2008

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the US military intervention abroad is partly to blame for the economic turmoil on Wall Street.

"Problems do not arise suddenly," President Ahmadinejad told The Los Angeles Times.

"The US government has made a series of mistakes in the past few decades. First, the imposition on the US economy of heavy military engagement and involvement around the world . . . the war in Iraq, for example. . . These are heavy costs," he added.

The US government has announced that it has so far spent more than $522 billion on the nearly five-year-old war, with another $70 billion already allocated for the year 2008.

However, Nobel-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz revealed in March that the true costs are at least $3 trillion and could surpass the cost of World War II, an estimated $5 trillion after adjusting for inflation.

The Iranian president, who is in New York to attend the UN General Assembly for the fourth time since he took office in August 2005, warned that the world could no longer tolerate the trouble caused by the fragile economy of the United States.

"The world economy can no longer tolerate the budgetary deficit and the financial pressures occurring from markets here in the United States, and by the US government," he said.

President Ahmadinejad's remarks came following the massive Wall Street meltdown, which has been described by analysts as even a worst setback since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The Iranian president expressed hope that the next US president, whether Republican or Democrat, would not pursue President George W. Bush's 'logic of force'.

"We do not believe that the US policy perspective, looking at the rest of the world as a field of confrontation, will give good results," President Ahmadinejad concluded.


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