“Iran is a powerful country and people like Mr. Trump or the United States administration cannot hurt Iran,” he said.
Ahmadinejad suggested the US strike on Syria could have happened even if Hillary Clinton had won the US election because the US Deep State decides on such matters rather than the president elect.
“Those who are the directors must give the role [of US president] to a person who can pull it off best. A woman cannot put up a good war face,” he said. “A man can do that better. They need to come up with a figure and say he is very dangerous.”
American president Donald Trump’s administration had warned earlier that Iran has been put “on notice” over its ballistic missile tests. Iran is one of the main allies of Syrian President Bashar Assad together with Russia and is involved militarily to rid the country of jihadists.
He spoke to AP on Saturday, three days after he announced his intention to run for president again. His surprise candidacy must still be approved by authorities. He previously served two four-year terms as president of Iran between 2005 and 2013.
Ahmadinejad would be running against favourite Hassan Rouhani, after he had pledged in September not to run for president because Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had warned him of a “polarised situation” that would be “harmful for the country” if he decided to take part.
During the interview Ahmadinejad supported Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal to limit its nuclear program in exchange for relief from international sanctions. “The nuclear deal is a legal document and a pact. In the Islamic Republic, the officials and the supreme leader have approved of it and declared their commitment to it,” he said.
“The problem about the nuclear deal is how they advertised it. Both parties have represented it in such a way as if it can solve all the issues of human history. It was incorrect. It later turned out to be untrue,” he continued.
But he avoided questions about Iran’s alleged missile program and hostility from the US and Israel to his power bid. He made no inflammatory remarks about Israel’s demise or the Holocaust either.
The country’s Guardian Council will announce the list of approved presidential candidates on April 27. The election is scheduled for May 19.
Iran has signed several multibillion-dollar civilian aircraft deals since sanctions were lifted, but many ordinary Iranians have not experienced the promised economic benefits of the nuclear agreement.
Meanwhile the Iranian Defense Ministry on Saturday showcased its recent technological achievements, including a domestically-made jet, named Kowsar.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the Islamic Republic has never even considered launching military aggression against any other country, stressing, however, that Tehran will not seek permission from others to manufacture missiles and fighter jets, Press TV reported.