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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 August 2006, 18:58 GMT 19:58 UK
Key quotes: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has praised Hezbollah and fiercely criticised Israel, the US and the UK in a televised speech in north-western Iran.

Here are some key excerpts from Mr Ahmadinejad's speech.

ON THE CONFLICT IN LEBANON

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Mr Ahmadinejad is a regular critic of Israel and the West
The corrupt powers like America, the criminal Britain and the shameful and humiliated Zionist regime were armed up to their teeth with laser bombs, advanced aircraft, advanced tanks, an accurate artillery and a wicked and vicious army... On the other hand a group of faithful, pure, divine youth stood against them and with the help of God trusted God's pledge and resisted against the enemy.

They could defeat these idolatrous powers within 33 days with the help of God and fly the flag of victory in the proud Lebanon.

ON THE 'NEW MIDDLE EAST'

Those people who... wanted to... create a new Middle East... when they say a new Middle East, they mean a Middle East which will be a captive in the hands of America, Britain and the Zionist regime.

I want to announce here that they should not assume that ceasefire means an end to the crisis
The nations in the region are alert. In fact our nations also want a new Middle East. The Middle East that our nations want is a free Middle East, free from the hegemony of America and Britain.

They attacked Lebanon as an introduction to the new Middle East plan. They were under the assumption that they can stabilise their power by breaking the unity and resistance of the Lebanese nation and expand their influence on the rest of the Middle East. I want to announce here that they should not assume that ceasefire means an end to the crisis.

ON THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL

It is quite clear that Britain and America, which claim to be the supporters of human rights, freedom and democracy, are not... We saw how presumptuously they resorted to tricks so as to postpone the ceasefire for at least three weeks. And they blatantly declared that they should allow the Zionist regime to smash the [Hezbollah] resistance and occupy some land.

I would like to announce it here... these two countries are not fit to be the members of the UN Security Council. These [two states] have disgraced the Security Council. The main duty of the Security Council is to establish peace, tranquillity and ceasefire. When there are some in the Security Council that oppose ceasefire and peace, they do not deserve to be there.

ON THE NUCLEAR ISSUE

We're very interested in talks. We're interested in having problems solved through talks. We support peace and calm. We're opposed to tension. But it seems that these gentlemen have misinterpreted our stances. Every time they hold talks with us, they say some bullying thing. They say: if you don't accept what we say, we will take you to the Security Council and condemn you there. Well, of course the Security Council is a tool in your hands. A tool in your hands has no dignity. It has no legality to want to make decisions.


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