Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad condemned the United States Tuesday for being behind all global dictators and called for the end to America's two-party government, according to Iranian Press TV. The speech was given at the dedication of Iran's new but still faulty oil refinery, the latest project in the nation's aim to be a global power.
"Anywhere there is a dictator, he is supported by you ... he is your stooge," Ahmadinejad said of Washington. "Their scheme is to save the Zionist regime (Israel), global arrogance and US interests ... the main enemies of nations are the US, its allies and the Zionist regime ... All regional countries must be vigilant."
He also criticized the American political system. "What is the difference between a country ruled by one or two [dictators] for thirty to forty years and a country dominated by two parties for many years?" asked Ahmadinejad. "The world of colonialism is about to fall apart and nations will see the collapse of capitalism in the near future," he added.
Ahmadinejad's comments may have been an attempt to distract from an embarrassing and lethal accident at the oil refinery shortly before his speech. A deadly blast during the inauguration killed at least four and injured 20, the Washington Post reports.
"A 'testing machine' exploded almost directly after it was placed in the area where Ahmadinejad was preparing to give a speech," the Post reported, citing the semi-official Iranian news agency Mehr. It also stated that the resulting fire "raged for hours and released poisonous gases."
Khabar Online, an Iranian news site critical of the regime, reported that the death toll was considerably higher, at well over 30 people. The site also said that German engineers involved in the plant's construction refused to attend its inauguration over safety concerns.
The oil refinery accident is not the first setback in Iran's infrastructure development. An oil pipeline explosion near the Shiite religious center of Qom sent balls of fire into the sky on April 8th, and a February 11th blast halted north-south gas movement in the country.