Erdan stages protest during Iran president’s UNGA speech, is escorted out of chamber

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan holds up a sign as Iran President Ebrahim Raisi addresses the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly at United Nations headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan holds up a sign as Iran President Ebrahim Raisi addresses the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly at United Nations headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan stages a protest during the speech of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in front of the UN General Assembly.

Shortly after Raisi began his speech, Erdan got up from his seat in the chamber and raised a sign that read “Iranian women deserve freedom now” and included a picture of Mahsa Amini, who died in Iranian police custody after her arrest for an alleged breach of the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code for women.

Holding the photo above his head, Erdan walked toward the lectern from which Raisi was speaking before making his way out of the chamber. Before he reached the exit, UN security ran him down and escorted him out of the auditorium.

He was detained for several minutes by the UN security team outside the chamber before being released.

“It should not be possible for a vile murderer who calls for the destruction of Israel to be given a platform here at the UN. The UN has, once again, reached a new moral low,” Erdan says in a statement.

“While the butcher of Tehran is speaking at the UN and is being respected by the international community, hundreds of Iranians are protesting outside, shouting and calling on the international community to wake up and help them. It is a disgrace that member states stay to listen to a mass murderer,” he says.

Erdan has staged half a dozen protest walkouts during the speeches of Iranian, Palestinian and Turkish leaders during his tenure as ambassador, with his office filming and posting each demonstration.

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