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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Filed under: Iran • United Nations
soundoff (670 Responses)
  1. waitamin8

    You listen to your friends closely! You listen to you enemies even more closely, you idiots! And you call yourselves diplomats!

    September 23, 2011 at 5:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Newo

      1.) that's what the note taker is for
      2.) Ahmedinejad is just a puppet -Khomeini is really calling the shots.

      September 23, 2011 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  2. Safir

    Was hoping the the "he said" links in the stories above would take us to full transcripts of the speeches – as can be found at president.ir . Not so – just more editorial interpretation of what the uininformed refused to hear, and so perpetuated their status.

    September 23, 2011 at 5:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. GODis

    Even that wouldn't help. Unless the Muslim religion learns the lesson of Adam and his first woman, and the union of Adam and Eve. Release your women to the world, let them make it a better place.

    September 23, 2011 at 6:10 am | Report abuse |
  4. Mimi

    I am American... and I read his comments. I simply don't understand why they walk out. Seems childish. I would feel a need to respond... not just walk out. By walking out, and not answering, they just make themselves appear to be the bullies amad.j.dad. accuses them of being. There are many, many people, outside of the US, who believe that the others who died in the Holocaust, who were not Jews, were not even spoken of (Polish, etc.) What is wrong with calling into question the fact that noone talks about the number (millions of Poles, and other Eastern Europeans) who were NOT Jewish and killed in camps? And who cares if we debate the number of jews killed. It's horrific, by all accounts, even if he killed only 1 or 2 million! For pete's sake, people, grow up. It's america... we should be able to listen to criticism about our nation and respond with the truth. After living in the EU many years, I can tell you, Iranians are just saying the same things the rest of the world is saying on their streets, daily. We just make fools of ourselves to pretend the world is happy.

    September 23, 2011 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
    • TS

      in this forum they cannot repond, but only listen. you can't polish a terd, once a terd always a terd. i usually flush them,not listen to them

      September 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. emillio11

    This egit is going to be the cause of nuclear war. Him and his misguided cronies are all lairs and should be seen as such. Anyone with any sense knew quite well why Iran were creating nuclear power..... for the residue, for use in nuclear warheads. They see themselves as the dictators of middle east policy and iot will worsen when the are able to wipe out Israel with missiles or by proxy through their funded zealots, north, south and east of Israel. If you think oit/fuel is expensive now, it is nothing when Israel has to defend herself against this meglomaniac. Lokk at Hitler....the world failed to deal with him, just as we are failing now to deal with this modern day Hitler. It will only mean the loss of millions of lives and the end of our way of life as we know it. Get rid of this man asap, bomb his nuclear sites and free the Iranian people from the mad mullah's tyrany.

    September 23, 2011 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jeff Frank ( R- Ohio ) "Right There"

    This man will never "pull my chain".

    September 23, 2011 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
  7. Fred54

    The shills on these boards are in a panic as usual and the petulant children walk out because Ahmadinejad tells
    the truth. They cannot control his narrative and they cannot argue the facts so they try to distract and discredit.

    September 23, 2011 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  8. Buck Ofama

    Somebody needs to take out this idiot.

    September 23, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Ben James

      The only idiot here is you.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. William

    Why so serious?

    September 23, 2011 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  10. WIL69R

    GOIN FISHN

    September 23, 2011 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  11. michaelfury

    "the United States killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden instead of investigating 'hidden elements involved in September 11.'"

    Stark raving madness.

    http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2011/05/05/interior-attack/

    September 23, 2011 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Ben James

      911was clearly an inside job. The demolition of WTC Tower 7 is the smoking gun.

      September 23, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • shutup

      I wish we could kill him again, over and over.. bullet in the face, the eye, the balls... up his ass... you get the idea

      September 23, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Thade

      Looks like Ben James got a Conspiratron 5000 for his birthday. I find that if people like Ben were given an enema, they could be buried in a matchbox

      September 23, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • sbp

      Sure, an inside job. The CIA and Mossad had planted explosives all over WTC 7 decades ago, and spent 30 years just waiting for a plane to crash into the WTC so they could set them off and get away with it. Cuckoo...cuckoo...cukoo....

      September 23, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  12. michaelfury

    "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"

    Absolute lunacy.

    http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/an-opportunity/

    September 23, 2011 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  13. John

    All the 911 conspiracy theories have one major problem..."governments aren't that clever"

    September 23, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Ben James

      please then explain why the pentagon refuses to reveal the security videos from 911. why did Tower collapse even though no aircraft touched it. why were no signs of an aircraft or even human tissue ever found at the flight 93 crash site......

      September 23, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Thade

      Agreed. I think these people watch to much X-Files.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • shutup

      Ben James, you should change your name to Ben Dover... cause that's how stupid you are.. you didn't see the United 767 fly right into the building yet? google it, there is tons of footage... seriously, there is!

      Are you that retarded? I get it, your from the south or middle America? and you poor, cause your dumb... that might explain some of your madness....

      September 23, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      Ben... are you high?

      September 23, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jeff Frank ( R - Ohio ) "Lunatic Fringe"

    "If you were standing "downwind" from someone that experiences uncontrolled farting, you'd walk out too!" 😡

    September 23, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  15. Yup

    If you really look it might be safer to have this idiot blow hard speaking for a stupid weak minded country...if his people agree to his poor words it only shows there weakness.. He has been saying the same thing for years and has become a joke to the world....we all know what he is.....nothing, and duly will be treated as such.

    September 23, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
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