Any country stockpiling nukes is ‘retarded,’ Ahmadinejad says

Any country stockpiling nukes is ‘retarded,’ Ahmadinejad says

Iranian president says the age of nuclear deterrence is over

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in September 2012 (screenshot: YouTube/CNN)
Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in September 2012 (screenshot: YouTube/CNN)

Any country stockpiling nuclear weapons is “mentally retarded” and the age of nuclear deterrence is over, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday.

Speaking at an international forum in Indonesia, Ahmadinejad reiterated his denial of allegations that his country’s unsanctioned nuclear program aimed at developing an atomic bomb.

“The Iranian nation is not seeking an atomic bomb, nor do they need to build an atomic bomb … For defending ourselves we do not need a nuclear weapon,” said Ahmadinejad.

“The period and era of using nuclear weapons is over … Nuclear bombs are not anymore helpful and those who are stockpiling nuclear weapons, politically they are backward, and they are mentally retarded,” Reuters quoted him saying.

Use of such controversial terminology is not foreign to the Iranian president, who has denigrated heads of state, their opinions, or nuclear weapons as “retarded” numerous times since coming to power in 2005.

In October, Ahmadinejad called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s much-hyped bomb diagram presentation at the United Nations General Assembly “primitive and childish,” and accused Netanyahu of being a war-monger, saying of him: “Whoever talks of war is retarded.”

Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency quoted the president in July 2011 making a similar statement regarding nuclear weapons as he did in Indonesia on Thursday. “We don’t need to build (atomic) bombs. Bombs are for retarded people,” Ahmadinejad said.

The news agency also quoted Ahmadinejad in 2009 referring to European heads of state as “a bunch of politically retarded people.”

After being snubbed from a nuclear summit hosted by Washington in 2010, Ahmadinejad was quoted by Iranian Revolutionary News Agency condemning world leaders saying, “These foolish people who are in charge are like stupid, retarded people who brandish their swords whenever they face shortcomings, without realizing that the time for this type of thing is over.”

Speaking at Columbia University in New York City in September 2007, Ahmadinejad said, “I think the politicians who are after atomic bombs, politically, they’re backwards. Retarded.”

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