March 26 - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the U.S. can no longer dictate policy to the rest of the world. Nick Rowlands reports.
The Presidents of Afghanistan, Iran, and Tajikistan pose for the cameras at a regional conference taking place in the Tajik capital. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the U.S. and NATO are pursuing a plan of hegemony in the East, encircling China, Russia, and India under the pretext of combating terrorism. He also warned of growing instability in the West's relations with Pakistan, and said the United States could no longer dictate policy to the rest of the world. The U.S. delegation to the conference left the hall when Ahmadinejad began to speak and only returned after the conclusion of his speech. The Iranian leader said Afghanistan is capable of running its own affairs without the presence of foreign troops, and said NATO should spend a proportion of its military budget to help revive the Afghan economy. He said that Iran would offer technical and economic assistance, including investment in education, healthcare, and infrastructure projects. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.