Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did not aim to develop a nuclear weapon since hitting Israel would mean killing Palestinians as well, Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum said in an interview with the BBC broadcast Monday.

Al-Maktoum said that in a conversation with him, Ahmadinejad had told him Iran would have no use for a nuclear bomb.

“What will I do? If I have a means of transporting this weapon to Israel, how many Palestinians will I kill?”, Sheikh Mohammed quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.

He said Ahmadinejad was well aware of the ramifications of using a nuclear weapon.

“The Europeans and Americans will finish my cities in Iran,” Ahmadinejad reportedly told al-Maktoum. “I am not crazy, to go for that. The weapon is of the past.”

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during an interview with Associated Press editorial staff on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012 in New York. (photo credit: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during an interview with Associated Press editorial staff on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012 in New York. (photo credit: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Convinced that Iran wasn’t developing a nuclear weapon, al-Maktoum said the economic sanctions currently imposed on Tehran by Western powers should be lifted “slowly and firmly.”

He said that if Iran reaches an agreement with the West, and particularly with the United States, the time will be ripe to lift the sanctions, from which Dubai has also suffered.

“Iran is our neighbor and we don’t want any problem,” said al-Maktoum. He added that if Iran allows inspectors into its nuclear sites to ensure that it is not producing a nuclear weapon, which would be dangerous for Dubai as well, that would be enough to justify an end to sanctions.