World woes due to rejection of God: Ahmadinejad

Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:55am EST
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - The world's troubles are rooted in a rejection of God and if Jesus Christ lived today he would stand up against bullying powers, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will tell Britons on Christmas Day.

The message will be broadcast on Channel 4 Thursday evening as an alternative to the traditional Christmas television and radio address from Queen Elizabeth.

"The crises in society, the family, morality, politics, security and the economy ... have come about because the prophets have been forgotten, the Almighty has been forgotten and some leaders are estranged from God," Ahmadinejad said, according to a translation of his message.

"If Christ were on earth today, undoubtedly he would stand with the people in opposition to bullying, ill-tempered and expansionist powers."

Tehran has accused both Britain and the United States of trying to destabilize the Islamic Republic. Tensions have grown in recent years because of the U.S.-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and Western worries over Iran's nuclear ambitions.

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has said he plans a new approach to Iran, including direct talks if needed, over what Washington says are the world's fourth biggest oil producer's plans to build atomic weapons -- a charge Iran denies.

"Today, the general will of nations is calling for fundamental change," Ahmadinejad said.

"The prerequisite to this change is a change in goals, intentions and directions. If tyrannical goals are repackaged in an attractive and deceptive package and imposed on nations again, the people, awakened, will stand up against them."

(Reporting by Matt Falloon; Editing by Giles Elgood)

 
<p>Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks while attending the opening of the first Asian Mayors Forum in Tehran November 19, 2008. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl</p>