Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad yesterday accused the United States of leading the world into another global conflict in which nuclear could be used.
Mahathir said that the US-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, and Washington's threats to attack Iran over its nuclear programme were tantamount to a "fourth World War." He described the Cold War as the third World War.
"Maybe this is an alarmist view ... but the fourth World War is already on and unless something is done, it will spread from Iraq and Afghanistan to Iran and beyond," said Mahathir, an outspoken critic of the West who had described the US as a "mass murderer" for its invasion of Iraq.
He told reporters that what was more "frightening" was that nuclear weapons could be used in the new war.
Mahathir said he was in Iran recently and was convinced that Iranians would not give up their right to a peaceful nuclear programme, which the US says is capable of building weapons. Iran insists it only wants to produce energy.
Mahathir claimed the Iranians have trained 14,000 suicide bombers who "will not confine themselves to Iran," citing press reports which he did not identify.
The Perdana Leadership Foundation, a non-governmental organization headed by Mahathir, will hold a three-day seminar from June 20 to call on world leaders to criminalize war. Among those attending are Dennis Halliday and Hans Von Sponeck, who both separately held the post of UN assistant secretary-general.
Mahathir, who retired in 2003 after 22 years in power, said the only way to prevent war is to elect leaders who commit themselves to settling disputes through negotiations and not through killing and violence. "That to us is very primitive," he said.
However, he showed sympathy with Iraqi insurgents who have killed hundreds of in their war against US troops.
"Nobody should kill, but there are instances when people have no means to defend themselves. They don't have bombs, they don't have rockets, they are in fact defending themselves," he said.
Source: China Daily