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Ahmadinejad: Iran is a model for the world

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says his country is the only nation that can offer a  new model for life to the world.

Story highlights

  • Ahamdinejad: The U.S. may be willing to "highjack" uprisings in the Middle East
  • The Iranian president says Iran would cease enriching uranium to 20% if the U.S. provided it

On the eve of his address at the U.N. General Assembly Thursday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared his country to be "a new model for life to the world."

He also said that the United States might be willing to "highjack" the Middle East uprisings, according to Iran's state-run news agency IRNA.

Ahmadinejad's appearance at the United Nations in New York comes a day after two U.S. hikers, held in an Iranian prison for more than two years, were released.

Wednesday evening, Ahmadinejad met with a group of U.S. university students, and then gave an interview to Iranian satellite television.

His office provided translated quotes from both.

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The Iranian leader said "that the world is in need of change, and Marxism, liberalism, humanism and the West could not solve man's problems," his office said. Ahmadinejad added that "relying on its culture and rich civilization," Iran is "the only nation" that "can offer a new model for life to the world."

He told the students "that the U.S. may be willing to highjack the regional uprisings but a stormy movement is under way," IRNA reported.

"Elsewhere in his speech, he said that the U.N. was set up with the objective of preventing bullying in the world, but this did not happen," IRNA reported.

Ahamdinejad also gave an interview to New York Times Op-Ed columnist Nicholas Kristof in which he discussed the dispute over Iran's nuclear activities. He said that if the United States gave Iran 20% enriched uranium, "we will cease the domestic enrichment of uranium of up to 20% this very week. We only want the 20% enrichment for our domestic consumption. If they give it to us according to international law, according to IAEA laws, without preconditions, we will cease domestic enrichment."

Many countries, including the United States, believe Iran is trying to create a nuclear weapons program, but Tehran insists its activities are only to provide energy for the country.