Coming off as insane is part of the plan. It's an old political trick called brinkmanship. The thing is, one has to be insane to play it. The way to come off as insane enough to carry out terrible threats is to sometimes carry them out. Bush was crazy enough to attack Iraq for oil under shifting, false pretexts of all sorts. Is he crazy enough to attack Iran? If John McCain loses, watch out.
Khamenei was speaking the day after a UN request for information on Iran's nuclear programme [AFP]
Iran's supreme leader has reaffirmed his country's commitment to a peaceful nuclear programme, while attacking George Bush, the US president as "mentally ill".
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told a ceremony honouring the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic, that Tehran had no interest in building nuclear weapons.
"Look at behaviour of the US president and members of his team, their words are like those of the mentally ill," he said on Tuesday.
"Sometimes they threaten ... and sometimes they ask for help – it's like mad people staggering to and fro."
Khamenei said that the erratic behaviour of Bush is rooted in the failures in Afghanistan and Iraq and urged countries to resist bullying.
With regards to accusations by the US and its allies that Iran is attempting to manufacture a nuclear weapon, Khamenei said that possessing such arsenal would be "useless".
"No wise nation is interested in making a nuclear weapon," since it is not
logical and cannot be used.
"Iran is after the peaceful use of nuclear energy and we will strongly pursue and reach it despite the envy of our enemies."
US nuclear agreements
Khamenei said that the US was leading opposition against Iran's nuclear programme while signing nuclear agreements with "less advanced countries" which would results in their dependency on the US.
He did not elaborate, but the United States has concluded bilateral nuclear co-operation deals with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Khamenei's remarks came after John McCain, the presumptive Republican candidate for the US presidency, said Washington should impose tougher measures on Iran if it continues with its nuclear programme.
Speaking at the annual conference of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) on Monday, he said Iran's "continued pursuit of nuclear weapons" posed an "unacceptable risk".
Mohammed El Baradei, the UN atomic watchdog chief, on Monday asked for greater clarity from Tehran concerning their nuclear programme.
Iran has not provided access to documents and individuals as requested by the International Atomic Energy Agency.