Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ahmadinejad: Whoever controls ME controls world's 'wealth'

Iranian president quoted as telling Teheran audience “In terms of economic issues, the world hegemonic system ... is no longer powerful from the military aspect."

Whoever controls the controls the world’s “energy and wealth,” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted by IRNA as saying Saturday.

Ahmadinejad told an audience in Teheran, “Many countries have, unsuccessfully, tried during the past years to become a superpower in the region but they failed as they play no role at the international equations.”

“It is now clear that whoever dominates the can rule the entire world too,” he added. According to the Iranian official news agency, Ahmadinejad also predicted the end of the world hegemonic system, as international problems had not been resolved.

“In terms of economic issues, the world hegemonic system reached a deadline while regarding political events, it failed to solve the existing problems and is no longer powerful from the military aspect,” he was quoted as saying.

In related news, meanwhile, put 16 opposition supporters detained during anti-government protests last month on trial Saturday on charges of rioting and conspiring against the ruling system, according to 's state media.

The official IRNA news agency and state Press TV said the defendants face charges ranging from plotting against the establishment to violating security regulations. Five of those on trial, including two women, were accused of "moharebeh," or defying God, a charge that could carry the death penalty, the semiofficial ISNA news agency reported.

The new prosecutions, coupled with the execution on Thursday of two men accused of involvement in anti-government groups, could mark an attempt by Iran's hardline leaders to intimidate the opposition ahead of a new round of street demonstrations expected in February.

Those who stood trial Saturday — including a follower of the Bahai faith, an alleged communist and a student activist — were detained during anti-government demonstrations on December 27, when at least eight people were killed and hundreds more were arrested after clashes between opposition activists and security forces. The violence was the worst since authorities launched a harsh crackdown immediately after 's disputed presidential election in June.

The protesters have presented 's cleric-led establishment with its biggest challenge since the 1979 revolution despite a brutal crackdown that has left hundreds imprisoned.

IRNA quoted a prosecutor identified only by the last name of Farahani as saying in court that some of the defendants had confessed to spying, planning bomb attacks and damaging public and private properties. He also said some of the defendants had sent videos on the clashes between protesters and Iranian police to the "foreign hostile networks," IRNA reported.

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