Iran's president is offering season's greetings to Christians in a British TV address and suggests that if Jesus were alive, he would oppose "bullying, ill-tempered and expansionist powers" — an apparent reference to the U.S. and its allies.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Christmas Day broadcast is to be delivered on Britain's Channel 4 television, occupying a slot that provides an often controversial counterpoint to Queen Elizabeth II's traditional annual message.
"If Christ were on earth today, undoubtedly he would hoist the banner of justice and love for humanity to oppose warmongers, occupiers, terrorists and bullies the world over," Ahmadinejad said, according to the English translation of the Farsi-language speech.
Dorothy Byrne, Channel 4's head of news and current affairs, said Ahmadinejad was picked because "As the leader of one of the most powerful states in the Middle East, President Ahmadinejad's views are enormously influential. As we approach a critical time in international relations, we are offering our viewers an insight into an alternative world view."