Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the UN General Assembly Wednesday that his country was under threat of military action from “uncivilized Zionists.”
“Continued threat by the uncivilized Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example of this bitter reality,” he said in the address, his last as president before his second term ends next summer.
Ahmadinejad, in remarks that largely followed the prepared text of the speech lodged with the UN ahead of time, lamented that the major world powers had allied with the devil, and suggested a new world order that would end the “hegemony of arrogance,” bolster human dignity and bring universal happiness.
He also said he did not believe Muslims, Christians, Jews and Buddhists had “any problems with each other,” but protested the “arms race and intimidation by nuclear weapons and weapons of mass-destruction by the hegemonic powers.” The military threats by the Zionists to his country, he said, were a case in point.
He said “a state of mistrust has cast its shadow” over international relations, and that there was “no trusted or just authority to help resolve world conflicts.”
Ahmadinejad was speaking a day after President Barack Obama told the General Assembly that the US “will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
The US boycotted Ahmadinejad’s speech, as did Israel. Canadian diplomats walked out as he took the podium.
Outside the UN headquarters in New York City, thousands of people filled a plaza in a protest against the Iranian regime.
The protest included appearances by former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former US House speaker Newt Gingrich.
Syrians also protested Iran’s support of their homeland’s regime.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday reacted to Ahmadinejad’s speech saying that “On the day that we pray to be inscribed in the Book of Life, the authoritarian Iranian regime takes every opportunity to condemn us to death.”
Netanyahu called it “a black day for those who chose to to remain in the room and listen to these accusatory words,” and added that his speech at the UN on Thursday will include a response.
Wednesday marked Ahmadinejad’s last address to the General Assembly as Iranian president. He will end his second four-year term next summer; presidential elections are scheduled for June.