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Iranian president blames US for market collapse

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    Iranian president blames US for market collapse By EDITH M. LEDERER Associated Press http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080923/ap_on_re_us/un_general_assembly UNITED
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 4, 2008
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      Iranian president blames US for market collapse
      By EDITH M. LEDERER
      Associated Press
      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080923/ap_on_re_us/un_general_assembly


      UNITED NATIONS - Iran's president blamed U.S. military interventions
      around the world in part for the collapse of global financial markets
      ahead of his speech Tuesday to the U.N. General Assembly.

      President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also said the campaign against his
      country's nuclear program was solely due to the Bush
      administration "and a couple of their European friends."

      "The U.S. government has made a series of mistakes in the past few
      decades," Ahmadinejad said an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

      "The imposition on the U.S. economy of the years of heavy military
      engagement and involvement around the world ... the war in Iraq, for
      example. These are heavy costs imposed on the U.S. economy.

      "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 U.S. government," he added.

      In a separate interview with National Public Radio, Ahmadinejad said
      he does not want confrontation with the United States.

      Despite U.N. sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program,
      Ahmadinejad claimed vast international support for his position and
      said the campaign consisted "of only three or four countries, led by
      the United States and with a couple of their European friends."

      Iran insists its nuclear activities are geared only toward generating
      power. But Israel says the Islamic Republic could have enough nuclear
      material to make its first bomb within a year. The U.S. estimates
      Tehran is at least two years away from that stage.

      Ahmadinejad's speech will come just hours after President Bush made
      his eighth and final speech to the U.N. General Assembly.

      Bush said Tuesday the international community must stand firm against
      the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea. And he said that
      despite past disagreements over the U.S.-led war in Iraq, members of
      the U.N. must unite to help the struggling democracy succeed.

      "A few nations, regimes like Syria and Iran, continue to sponsor
      terror," Bush said. "Yet their numbers are growing fewer, and they're
      growing more isolated from the world. As the 21st century unfolds,
      some may be tempted to assume that the threat has receded. This would
      be comforting. It would be wrong. The terrorists believe time is on
      their side, so they've made waiting out civilized nations part of
      their strategy. We must not allow them to succeed."

      Throughout Bush's speech, Ahmadinejad at in his seat and smiled and
      waved to people in the chamber. At one point during Bush's 22-minute
      talk, Ahmadinejad turned to someone at his side and gave a thumb's
      down.

      Bush's appearance was overshadowed by the U.S. financial crisis that
      has rippled through world markets. Trying to reassure world leaders
      that his administration is taking decisive action to stem market
      turmoil, Bush said he is confident that Congress will act in
      the "urgent timeframe required" to prevent broader problem. But he
      did not ask other nations to take any specific actions.

      French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for a wholesale reform of the
      global financial system, urging major economic powers to meet before
      the end of the year to examine the lessons of the crisis.

      "Let us rebuild capitalism in which credit agencies are controlled
      and punished when necessary, where transparency ... replaces
      opaqueness," Sarkozy said. "We can do this on one condition, that we
      all work together in our globalized world."

      Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva also called for a global
      solution to the financial crisis and lashed out at speculators whom
      he blamed for the "anguish of entire peoples."

      "The global nature of this crisis means that the solutions we adopt
      must also be global," Silva said.

      Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon painted a grim picture of a world
      facing not only a financial crisis but food and energy crises as well
      as new outbreaks of war and violence.

      "We must do more to help our fellow human beings weather the
      gathering storm," he told world leaders. "I see a danger of nations
      looking more inward, rather than toward a shared future. I see a
      danger of retreating from the progress we have made, particularly in
      the realm of development and more equitably sharing the fruits of
      global growth."

      "We need to restore order to the international financial markets," he
      said. "We need a new understanding on business ethics and governance,
      with more compassion and less uncritical faith in the `magic' of
      markets. And we must think about how the world economic system should
      evolve to more fully reflect changing realities of our time."


      Associated Press writers Slobodan Lekic and Michael Astor contributed
      to this report.

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