‘Bush message one of confrontation’

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blasts US President George W. Bush’s recent remarks on Iran in a live interview with Qatar’s Al-Jazeera TV.

“President Bush’s message is the message of division and confrontation and will not affect the Iranian people and neighboring countries,” said Ahmadinejad in a live interview televised by Al-Jazeera.

“Mr. Bush did not gain much in his visit. If Bush wished to polish his image domestically he should have taken better steps.”

“We considered the visit a failure from the very beginning and did not pay any attention to it,” he continued.

When asked about his recent visit to Doha to attend the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council summit, President Ahmadinejad said, “we have been living together for thousands of years”.

“We share the same religion, the same scripture, the same God, we are all brothers as you may have noticed the leaders and the peoples of the region are rapidly heading towards conversion and harmony,” he explained.

The Iranian president also answered questions about the situation in Iraq and Iran-US talks on the war-torn country’s security, saying, “regional stability depends on the stability of Iraq”.

“On the invitation of the Iraqi officials we staged a few rounds of talks aimed at defending Iraqi interests and at supporting the Iraqi government, which is elected by its people,” the Iranian president affirmed.

He noted that the fourth round of the Iran-US talks on Iraq’s security is still in the pipeline.

Turning to Israel the Iranian chief executive predicted Israel will not dare to attack Iran, despite its recent successful test of a ballistic missile.

“The Zionist regime lacks the courage to launch a strike against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Ahmadinejad observed.

He noted that the Israeli regime is aware that any strike on Iran will be confronted by a strong Iranian response.

Israel tested a long-range ballistic missile on Thursday capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

Israel is widely considered to be the Middle East’s sole nuclear power with an estimated but undeclared arsenal of upwards of 200 warheads.