Walkouts and fury: A look at Ahmadinejad's U.N. speeches
Delegations of several nations left during Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's U.N. speech Thursday.
September 22nd, 2011
10:27 PM ET

Walkouts and fury: A look at Ahmadinejad's U.N. speeches

Whether he is predicting the demise of the U.S. "empire," questioning U.S. accounts of the 9/11 attacks or accusing Europe of using the Holocaust as an excuse for supporting Israel, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad knows how to push the West's buttons at the U.N. General Assembly.

For the third straight year, U.S. diplomats on Thursday joined envoys from several other nations in walking out during the Iranian president's address at the annual United Nations gathering in New York. That doesn't even count instances before that, when American diplomats conspicuously skipped his speech altogether.

This year, Ahmadinejad said European countries "still use the Holocaust after six decades as the excuse to pay (a) fine or ransom to the Zionists," and that the United States killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden instead of investigating "hidden elements involved in September 11."

Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, wasn't impressed.

"We find what Ahmadinejad does and says when he comes to the United Nations absolutely odious, hateful, anti-Semitic, unacceptable, which is why the United States for three consecutive years - including today - have led a walkout of his speech," Rice told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Thursday. "Inevitably he says something outrageous, dishonest and offensive, and that leads to a walkout."

Here is a look back at Ahmadinejad's other U.N. speeches, and reactions to them:

2010

Representatives from the United States, Britain, Spain and other nations walked out while Ahmadinejad asserted that the U.S. government either participated in the 9/11 attacks or let them happen as an excuse to wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He said most Americans and "most nations around the world" believe that "some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the attack," adding that these people believe the attacks were aimed at reversing "the declining American economy and its scripts on the Middle East in order to save the Zionist regime."

He also said capitalism and the current world order had reached their demise after 100 years of domination, saying that they were "unable to provide appropriate solutions to the problems that society faces."

2009

In September 2009, Ahmadinejad was critical of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he said "thousands of innocent people have been killed, injured or displaced, infrastructures have been destroyed and regional security has been seriously jeopardized."

He ripped capitalism, saying it brought about the conditions leading to the world's economic crisis. He also called for a "return to monotheism and justice," calling it "the greatest hope and opportunity in all ages and generations."

He blasted Israel, accusing it of "crimes ... against defenseless women and children and destruction of their homes, farms, hospitals and schools."

The next day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the Iranian leader at the General Assembly. The delegations that stayed for Ahmadinejad's address gave "legitimacy to a man who denies the murder of 6 million Jews," Netanyahu said, referring to the Holocaust.

Ahmadinejad at the General Assembly in 2008

2008

Ahmadinejad told the General Assembly in 2008 that the "American empire" was nearing its end, and that Israel "is on a definite slope to collapse."

While he stopped short of calling for Israel to be politically wiped off the map as he had previously, he called for "a free referendum in Palestine for determining and establishing the type of state in the entire Palestinian lands."

The U.N. Security Council, he said, "cannot do anything, and sometimes under pressure from a few bullying powers, even paves the way for supporting these Zionist murders."

He blamed a few world powers for the world's problems, and defended his country's nuclear activities as peaceful. The U.S. and other Western nations had long suspected that Iran had been pursuing nuclear weapons, but Iran said it seeks only a civilian nuclear energy program.

He accused the United States of oppressing Iraqis with six years of occupation, saying Americans were "still seeking to solidify their position in the political geography of the region and to dominate oil resources."

The only person at the United States' table was a note-taker; no U.S. diplomat was present.

U.S. seats were empty during the 2007 speech.

2007

In a 2007 speech that blasted "selfish and incompetent" governments that have "obedience to Satan," Ahmadinejad said the U.N. Security Council "ranks first" among ineffective international bodies because it is influenced by "monopolistic powers."

Ahmadinejad invited "all independent, justice-seeking and peace-loving nations" to join Iran in a "coalition for peace." He also criticized unnamed "powers" that he said were responsible for insecurity, division and moral decline across the world.

"Is it not high time for these powers to return from the path of arrogance and obedience to Satan to the path of faith in God?" he said.

He criticized the United States without naming it, offering blunt assessments of the Iraq war and Washington's war on terrorism.

"Setting up secret prisons, abducting (people), trials and secret punishments without any regard to due process, extensive tappings of telephone conversations, intercepting private mail and frequent summons to police and security centers have become commonplace and prevalent."

The American delegation's chairs were unoccupied, except for one woman taking notes.

Earlier, he had asked to lay a wreath at the site of the destroyed World Trade Center towers, but New York City officials denied the request, citing safety concerns at what was then a construction site.

Ahmadinejad speaks in 2006.

2006

Ahmadinejad said in 2006 that the United States' permanent inclusion on the U.N. Security Council undermines its effectiveness and credibility.

He also criticized "unwarranted support" for Israel during conflicts in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon.

On Iraq, Ahmadinejad said the United States, whom he called "the occupiers," is "incapable of establishing security," and scores were dying daily as a result.

"Where can the people of Iraq seek refuge, and from whom can the people of Iraq seek justice?" he asked. How can the Security Council act "when the occupiers themselves are permanent members of the council?"

The Iranian president speaks to the General Assembly in September 2005.

2005

Ahmadinejad in 2005 told the General Assembly that Iran had a right to operate a nuclear energy program. He said it was unfair that some nations were allowed to make nuclear fuel while others are condemned for it.

"Today, the most serious challenges is that the culprits are assuming the role of prosecutor," he said, accusing the United States of "bullying the others while through huge media resources portraying themselves as defenders of freedom."

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soundoff (670 Responses)
  1. PROUSA

    He is the only leader who has the balls to tell it like it is. US tax payers are providing billions to Israel each and every year through policies of the Israeli owned and operated AIPAC, implemented by the US Congress which picks and chooses the Washington politicians to place Israel above all US interests including its relations with dozens of countries in the Middle East.

    Ask yourself, why they were no air craft parts in the Penn crash site and at the Pentagon? How did the towers collapse in an orderly and precise top to bottom fashion one after the other?

    September 23, 2011 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
    • pauline

      IF there were no airplane parts at the crash sites, then WHY did they find and catalog so many airplane parts from those crash sites? I mean, really, can't all of you conspiracy theorists get over it?

      September 23, 2011 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. imnotamoose

    great troll....or greatest troll?

    September 23, 2011 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
  3. Arrrrgh

    "....thats not a duck, thats Isreal!" '

    *pause for laughter*

    "Good afternoon and may Allah's blessing be upon you. I am here today......."

    September 23, 2011 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
  4. bleeding hearts

    Usually our hearts bleed except for the rare occassion when most all of the bloggers agree on something. So, we should shove a splintered broomstick up Argmojeanerdobs ass until the handle sticks out of his throat and we can pull until the splinters have torn strips of his rectum so that we can make shoelaces out of them for our kids shoes who can then go to school and show and tell of this great and wonderful A merica.

    September 23, 2011 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
  5. Justin Ahn

    U.N. is the place where talk and peace begins. Not to ignore one nation's leader's opinion and disrespectfully walkout during the speech. This will eventually lead to terrible events, which everyone who walked out will regret doing so.

    September 23, 2011 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
  6. el loco

    To everybody claiming he denies the holocaust, you are plain dumb. He say it is played out. Beside ALL he said was TRUE be it part of the illuminati charade or not! Open your eyes look up to the sky and SEE!

    September 23, 2011 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. saywhat

    So what it all boils down to is 'anti-semitism', whatever that stands for. All these walk outs & stuff.

    What has 'anti-semitism' to do with our National Security, geo-political , economic, strategic interests??
    Our failed M.East policies & the mess we find ourselves in today financially, embroiled in wars, bleak economic outlook for years to come, a nation divided, fear, hate & paranoia gripping us. No leadership with vision on the horizon to guide our destiny. Isn't that what should concern us the most? Instead of finding demons elsewhere & worry about 'anti-semitism' ??

    September 23, 2011 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
  8. Arrrrgh

    What happened to his super-fly Members Only windbreaker? I love it when he rocks that old-school 1984 look.

    September 23, 2011 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. Fair

    He is an anti-semite.

    September 23, 2011 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. Fair

    A little hitler.

    September 23, 2011 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. sskiper

    Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)

    September 23, 2011 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
  12. Christella

    Some of the comments about toddlers or 12 year olds..... Boy, that is almost an apt description of all the world leaders.... This world not open to any agreement by its leadership is set to fail. Why, even our own delegations to the Senate and the House seem to have problems so much more so than ever. But this guy's comments about colonialism etc, though true to one extent and others, don't excuse him or any other government or its officials. In fact, I will point out that on a recent program aired on PBS about global environments included a piece on Antarctica - and included information about how the UK is now claiming a certain 1/7th of the landmass of Antarctica as its own domain. Oh, wait so do China, Argentina, etc.... HOw is one better than another or different from another if they cannot solve the basic needs of their own countrymen? They fail, still. So, I will say Mr. A ranted like a child. So did our diplomats by scatting out as fast as they did, although I understand each's point of view, Mr. A uses this time every time as a way to get media attention. And so did our diplomats. Great way to talk, y'all. Great. Abraham Lincoln quoted someone when he reminded us that a house divided cannot stand. I guess that is why we see ever-more number of countries coming onto the map. As a species, or people, we are becoming ever more fractured. That's not unity. Not talking doesn't contribute to marital happiness or success. So how could it work for more than 2 people? Does anyone else see this going on?

    September 23, 2011 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. bleeding hearts

    Fortunatly, for those of US who do not believe in God, the god of Israel spits on the god of Americacalled who sh!ts on the god of Arabia who attacks the god of Israel who takes donations from the god of America who invades the god of Arabia who attacks the god of Israel who seeks revenge on the god of Arabia who is occupied by the god of America while the god of Israel exposes the god of America who pretend not to notice that Israel's god doesn't believe in the American god who likewise commands that only the American god can save the Iraeli god from being a god at all. And then there is Vishnu.

    September 23, 2011 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
  14. hamid

    hi,
    what did you think about something Mr.Mahmoud Ahmadinejad say??????//
    but i have to say think about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    why ?????????????

    September 23, 2011 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  15. Troy

    He may be a little nuts, but he is 100% correct about Israel.

    September 23, 2011 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
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