YEKATERINBURG - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the current political and economic order is approaching the end of its hegemony over the world.
Ahmadinejad told a regional summit Tuesday that the world is gripped by serious economic and political crises, the New York Times reported. Leaders of some of the world’s most powerful economies gathered Tuesday to discuss how they can exert more control over the global financial system as it takes its first wobbly steps toward recovery.
As the meeting got under way, President Ahmadinejad arrived in the Russian Urals city of Yekaterinburg on Tuesday for a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, having postponed his visit by a day. He was greeted warmly by Russia’s president, Dmitri A. Medvedev.
The summit brought together Russia, China and the four ex-Soviet Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. At the gathering, which is being held in conjunction with the BRIC meeting in the central Russian city of Yekaterinburg, Mr. Ahmadinejad gave a speech in which he referred to regional problems, describing Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine as occupied and unstable.
“The world is gripped by economic and political crises, and there is no hope for their solution,” he said. “The countries allied with America are also in no condition to cope with these crises.”
He added: “The current political and economic order is approaching the end of its hegemony over the world. It is absolutely clear that the era of empire has come to an end.”
Mr. Medvedev did not offer any public comments on the Iranian election. He later met with Mr. Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of the conference, Kremlin officials said.
A Russian deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, told reporters that Russia had warm relations with Iran. “Elections in Iran are an internal affair of the Iranian people, but we welcome the newly elected president of that state,” Ryabkov said.
“We consider this visit to be a reflection of partnership (and) neighborly and traditionally friendly relations, which have characterized the level of ties between Moscow and Tehran for a long time,” Rybakov added.
“We welcome the holding of elections in Iran, and we welcome the newly reelected president of Iran on Russian soil… it is highly significant that the first foreign visit after Ahmadinejad''s reelection is to Russia,” Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told the summit that the creation of new reserve currencies in addition to the dollar is needed to stabilize global finances, AP reported.
Medvedev has made the proposal before. It reflects both the Kremlin’s push for greater international clout and a concern shared by other countries that soaring U.S. budget deficits could spur inflation and weaken the dollar.
Airing it at a SCO summit meeting underlined the challenge to U.S. clout. Later Tuesday he hosts a summit of the BRIC group of leading emerging economies -- Brazil, Russia, India and China.