The following is an interview with Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV on July 2, 2009:
"Ahmadinejad is a Terrorist – And He Does Not Represent the Iranian People, Who Hate Him"
Mohsen Makhmalbaf: "We call upon the world not to recognize Ahmadinejad’s presidency and not to sign any agreements with him, because the Iranian people will subsequently reject these agreements.
"Along with Marjane Satrapi, who is also a filmmaker, I went to the European parliament and asked them to do the same. I have been invited to go to the European parliament next week, in order to explain the current situation in Iran.
"We demand to be allowed to demonstrate in Iran, and we demand that the elections be held again, under the auspices of the U.N.
"I reiterate: Ahmadinejad is a terrorist, and he does not represent the Iranian people, who hate him. The whole world hates him, along with the nuclear bomb issue, through which he seeks popularity among the Iranian public.
"I declare today that if the world does not help the popular revolution against Ahmadinejad in Iran, you will be forced to accept his conditions tomorrow. Unfortunately, it will be too late."
"How Can the World Expect Us to Abandon This Freedom-Seeking People to Ahmadinejad and His Leader – Who Are Just Like Bin Laden and Mullah Omar?
Interviewer: "Were you satisfied with Obama’s conduct? How did you feel when he greeted the Iranian people on the occasion of the Nowruz holiday, and reached out to Iran?"
Mohsen Makhmalbaf: "Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Khamenei are toying with you. They have the ability to produce a nuclear bomb. They have been procrastinating for years in order to buy time – month after month, year after year. Ultimately, this bomb will be aimed at you.
"This is why I demand that no one recognize Ahmadinejad’s regime, and that they be patient until the people elect their president. Otherwise, peace in the region will be jeopardized. The world accused the Iranian people of being an enemy of democracy because it had voted for Ahmadinejad – but today, the world sees how it was deceived by the regime of the mullahs.
"Today, the Iranian people has proven its support for democracy. Millions have demanded freedom. How can the world expect us to abandon this freedom-seeking people to Ahmadinejad and his leader, who are just like bin Laden and Mullah Omar?
"Khatami and Mousavi seek stability and peace for the region. Peace constitutes Mousavi’s strategy for the region. Ahmadinejad, however, is heading for war. Ahmadinejad helped the Palestinians against Israel. He didn’t do this for the sake of Palestine. He wanted to shift the war to Palestine, instead of a war in Iran." […]
"We Want Peace… But Ahmadinejad is Killing People in Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, And Palestine – [and] the Victims Are the Arabs"
"We want peace and a dialogue of civilization in the region and the world. We do not want war, but Ahmadinejad is killing people in Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Palestine. The victims are the Arabs.
"Ahmadinejad does not like the Arabs. He just uses them for his political purposes. If he liked the Arabs, he should strive for peace, not war. Today, all the Arab countries have problems with Ahmadinejad. How can we say that Ahmadinejad likes the Arabs more than the Arabs themselves? Ahmadinejad and the leader Khamenei deceive the Arabs and the world, in order to remain in power and maintain the dictatorship in Iran.
"In contrast, the Iranian people want peace for Palestine, and a resolution of its problems through dialogue. I hope that the Palestinians will achieve their own independent state. This will not be accomplished through war and rockets."
Interviewer: "How do you view Israel and its people?"
Mohsen Makhmalbaf: "I am an artist, not a politician, I love human beings. All the people born on this Earth have the right to live. Wars are launched by leaders, and the peoples are the victims. A child, whether Israeli or Palestinian, must live. I embrace both of them.
"I want to see a young girl, holding hands with a young man and walking in a free society, without any war. I want to see peace prevail in the world. I want to see Palestine laughing, and no war in any part of the world."
To view the clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2173.htm.