Tehran: Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran’s relationship with India has ‘far more potential’ than its relationship with China in an exclusive interview with WION. Speaking on WION’s Global Leadership Series about the recently signed Iran-China 25-year Cooperation Program, Ahmadinejad said ‘the potential of cooperation between Iran and India is far much more than what the capacity between Iran and China is.’
‘In Iran, there has been a lot of debate over that country (China), it is ongoing… Regarding the China deal, no clear information has been published in Iran, that is why Iranian people look at it with doubt.’ Regarding India, he stated, ‘the volume of communications that we have today to our capacity and commonality is extremely small… as a fundamental strategy we need to do our best to ensure that we utilize the maximum available capacity.’
Similarly, the former Iranian president criticized the withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan. During a conversation with WION’s Executive Editor Palki Sharma Upadhyay about the current situation in Afghanistan, Ahmadinejad stated that they believe the ‘Taliban is part of the American plot.’ Ahmadinejad believes that ‘the Americans have in practice not gone out of the region and in fact, they have new plots designed and they are supporting the Taliban.’ Ahmadinejad also criticized the role of Afghanistan’s neighbours as well. In response to a question about meddling in Afghanistan, Ahmadinejad replied, ‘All neighbours are’.
In addition, he criticized Pakistan’s involvement in Afghanistan, saying, ‘Anybody in any part of the world, who considers themselves as the basis and the symbol of a religion and tries to force upon others its will by weapons and arms is going to be a serious threat and danger to all nations and countries… all those supporting the Taliban should know that if the Taliban is settled down and take power, they would soon revolt against themselves and endanger the security.’
Regarding Iran’s current leadership, he said Ebrahim Raisi faces a task to ‘restore national trust…Everywhere, things are based on the people and the energy that propels and takes it forward is the will of the people,’ and the people ‘don’t trust the managers and decision-makers,’ he said.
Ahmadinejad was among several candidates prohibited from running by Iran’s Guardian Council. Earlier, he refused to vote in the 2021 Presidential election.