BY EDITH M. LEDERER AND WENDY BENJAMINSON, ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEW YORK (AP) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that a new world order needs to emerge, away from years of what he called American bullying and domination.
Ahmadinejad spoke to The Associated Press in a wide-ranging interview on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly – his last as president of Iran. He was to address the assembly Wednesday morning.
The Iranian leader also discussed solutions for the Syrian civil war, dismissed the question of Iran’s nuclear ambition and claimed that despite Western sanctions his country is better off than it was when he took office in 2005.
“God willing, a new order will come together and we’ll do away with everything that distances us,” Ahmadinejad said, speaking through a translator. “I do believe the system of empires has reached the end of the road. The world can no longer see an emperor commanding it.”
“Now even elementary school kids throughout the world have understood that the United States government is following an international policy of bullying,” he said.
President Barack Obama warned Iran earlier Tuesday that time is running out to resolve the dispute over its nuclear program. In a speech to the General Assembly, Obama said the United States could not tolerate an Iran with atomic weapons.
Ahmadinejad would not respond directly to the president’s remarks, saying he did not want to influence the U.S. presidential election in November.
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