UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday accused the United States of encircling his country, and said Washington was the real threat to world stability. Ahead of a speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations, the Iranian leader defended his confrontational stand against the West and Israel. "I'd like to ask you, is it the Iranian (army) that's around the territories, around the country, or is it the US troops that are around?" he asked during an interview on National Public Radio. "It is the US troops around our borders. It is not ours around the American borders. So what exactly are they doing over there?" Referring to a global financial crisis sparked by the banking meltdown on Wall Street, Ahmadinejad also told the Los Angeles Times that "the world economy can no longer tolerate the budgetary deficit and the financial pressures." Despite three rounds of UN Security Council sanctions, Iran continues to defy calls by the United States and its Western allies to halt uranium enrichment - a process the West and Israel fear is being used to make an atomic bomb. "We do not believe that the US policy perspective, looking at the rest of the world as a field of confrontation, will give good results," he told the Los Angeles Times. Ahmadinejad firmly placed the blame for world tensions on Washington and maintained his controversial stand that Israel has no future, describing the Jewish state as "an airplane that has lost its engine." "Problems do not arise suddenly," he told the LA Times. "The US government has made a series of mistakes in the past few decades. First, the imposition on the US economy of heavy military engagement and involvement around the world..., the war in Iraq, for example..., these are heavy costs." Ahmadinejad, who has previously called for Israel to be "wiped off the map," also proposed Israel be transformed into a single state including returned Palestinian refugees, who would vastly outnumber the now dominant Jewish population, the LA Times reported. The United States wants to impose new sanctions against Iran, but Russia and China are resisting the move. The UN atomic watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, called on Iran Monday to clear up allegations it had been involved in studies to make a nuclear warhead. IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei published a report last week in which he accused Iran of stalling a UN investigation into its disputed nuclear program, refusing access to documents, individuals and sites.