US walks out as Iran delivers anti-US speech

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Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addresses the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday. (Richard Drew | The Associated Press)

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS — American diplomats led a walkout at the U.N. General Assembly Thursday as Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fiercely attacked the United States and major West European nations as “arrogant powers” ruled by greed and eager for military adventurism.

The two U.S. diplomats, who specialize in the Middle East, were followed out of the chamber by diplomats from more than 30 countries. Israel boycotted the speech.

Ahmadinejad’s speech pitted the poverty and unhappiness of most countries against the riches and power of the U.S. and unnamed European nations that he accused of perpetuating wars, causing the current global economic crisis and infringing on “the rights and sovereignty of nations.”

He attacked the United States and European colonial powers for abducting tens of millions of Africans and making them slaves, for their readiness “to drop thousands of bombs on other countries,” and for dominating the U.N. Security Council.

“It is as lucid as daylight that the same slave masters and colonial powers that once instigated the two world wars have caused widespread misery and disorder with far-reaching effects across the globe since then,” Ahmadinejad said. “Do these arrogant powers really have the competence and ability to run or govern the world?”

The Iranian president answered by calling for “the shared and collective management of the world in order to put an end to the present disorders, tyranny and discriminations worldwide.” Last year, he said “the future belongs to Iran” and challenged the U.S. to accept that his country has a major role in the world.

“The world assembly should take with a grain of salt the remarks of a leader who said nothing about the public hanging yesterday of a 17-year-old in his own country,” Human Rights Watch’s U.N. Director Philippe Bolopion said.

Printed on Friday, September 23, 2011 as: "Diplomats walk from Iranian speech."