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. sortakinda

    The Iranian leader's final remarks: " And would you believe, in a city as famous as New York, I couldn't find a decent bow tie to wear with my suit as I addressed you today?"

    September 23, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marcus

      Ties are considered symbols of Crusader victories in Croatia "Caravat" is not typically worn by most Muslims. It would be like a Christian wearing a Turban (some do in the Middle East).

      September 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Danedjo

    Why do we even let this camel lover into our country... Vote Iran out of the U.N. once and for all. Nuke'em every last one of them. WOW I feel better now 🙂

    September 23, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Belvis

      I completely, 1000% agree with that statement.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Pianki

    WHAT HE SAYS is True. There are not many with the courage to speak truth to Demons.

    September 23, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • justageek

      @pianki – And you know he speaks the truth how exactly??

      September 23, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      You are funny. Mostly because you are stupid. Not a thing he has said is true – except the US not giving him uranium.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sam

    To those of you saying that nothing compares to the holocaust? So you would say that the bosnia-hercegovina never happened? would you say that Darfur never happened? Would you say that the Crusades never happened? please look these up and you will understand that theses are just as bad as the holocaust in their own rights and there are many more that have occurred from the time of the holocaust until now. Hell even look up what happened with the landing of the Mayflower, the Spanish exploration and settlement of the "New World." I believe that ahmadinejad is mainly referring to the Zionist support over incidents involving the East Jerusalem compound of Al-Haram Ash-Sharif compound which includes Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock controversy of 1967 until present day. At the end of the day the UN is a neutral place for each country who is a member to be able to openly and freely discuss issues. Now Mr Ahmadinejad has simply expressed view and opinions whether warranted or not he has made valid points maybe not directly but if one reads between the lines you see what he is saying. with the issue of the support of the so called Zionist state.... think about it. He is saying stop spending your cash on other nations when you have fiscal issues within your own borders. Think. Iraq has received pallets of money from the US not checks not wire transfers but pallets of cold hard cash. Today there is roughly 6 billion missing in cash. Either Afghanistan or Pakistan recently received 800 million or so in cash. i mean this is cash why do WE as the US always need to help others out? Is it because my white t shirt was made in Afghanistan or Pakistan? He is saying that the world and the US are all in economic turmoil but not one politician not one individual has the strength to rise up and take a stand to get the ball rolling. Im sorry for making this a long winded rant but to those saying Muslims are the ones crying about stuff all the time.... the poor people take the number 2 position in the number of people adhering or identifying with that religion the first being what i call the family of Christianity and Catholicism.

    September 23, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Raymond

    Quote:
    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

    Everything in the above statement is true. You can dig your heads in the sand as far as you want, the truth is right there, believing it or not is not changing it one bit. The fact that Ahmedinejad says it does not change it one bit either.
    The US diplomats walking out on this statement does not change it one bit either. Killing Ahmadinejad does not change it either.
    I am glad someone at the UN is speaking the truth, other than that the whole thing is a big circus, a bunch of bureaucrats who used to be the school presidents, yeah, those annoying boys and girls that nobody liked.

    September 23, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. H

    Probably they hate him because he speaks the truth.

    September 23, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • justageek

      @H – I don't think anyone really hates him...he's just fun to make fun of because he is a radical moron.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      People don't hate others like him because they speak the truth – people hate others like him because his lies spread around the world to the uneducated and radical like a cancer. Because his lies are in complete denial of historical evidence, manipulative of the simple minded, and fly in the complete opposite direction of the progress of the human species. H, you are either young and naive or old and blind. He is a madman. A raving lunatic. No self-respecting, educated, rational, intelligent, forward thinking individual can defend anything he has said. The same goes for Michelle Bachmann – who is just as much of a lunatic.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. k smith

    He runs a country but cant wear a tie to the UN.

    September 23, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ProperVillain

    Any one who denies the holocaust is delusional and probably evil. Eisenhower predicted that people would come along later that would deny that it ever happened. That is why he ordered so much footage to be taken of the prison camps after they were liberated by the allies.
    Denial of history is one of the first steps towards genocide. Hitler was great at twisting or denying history, and look what happened. Ahmadinejad is cut from the same cloth and would kill every last person that didn't fall in line with his delusional line of thinking if he had the chance.
    The CIA should have taken the opportunity while he was in NY and whisked him away in an unmarked black van. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be missed by the citizens of Iran.

    September 23, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • NonZionist

      Ahmadinejad doesn't "deny the Holocaust". He asks that the genocide in the 1940s be treated as a historical event and subjected to investigation by historians.

      We see who supports investigation - of 9/11 and the Holocaust - and who opposes investigation! Who gains by keeping certain things hidden?

      September 23, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Teddy

      I wish staunchly conservative citizens of the United States would take a really good look at this man and his penchant for rewriting history and avoid bringing a similar conservative American candidate to the electoral college party.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      I think a lot of these Arab leaders say things because they're following the Arab party line.
      He's right in that people can't continue to use the Holocaust as a bludgeon to keep committing bad behavior.
      He's also right in that America and the West can't push their greed and power and materiality on the rest of the world.
      He's not totally nuts; I think he often says things for effect.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • jeannie

      Do all religiously conservative nations have sworn enemies? Religion creates religious elites who must always draw a line in the sand so that "others" won't cross it. The poor American gay population is the bulls eye target of Christian Americans. These Christians are forever searching for brownie points from some metaphysical and supernatural being. I don't get it.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mrs Ashby

      Well, walking out sure puts a lid on the spirit of the United Nations where everyone is to be heard, but when religious zealots get the bully pulpit, I'm hand in hand with the people who walked out. When statements like "there are no gay people in Iran" come flying out of his mouth I don't have to sit and listen to the delusional, the brainwashed or the puppet for the "Supreme (Ha!) Leader of Iran.

      September 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trish

      @Nonzionist More words have been written about World War II and the Holocaust than just about any other subject. If this guy doesn't have access to a library within Iran, then that is Iran's problem.

      September 23, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Asgar

    People who walked out cant stand truth simple...

    September 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • justageek

      ...or just have better things to do than listen to story time.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • GOD SPEED Ahmadinejad!

      Because their Asses gets on fire lol

      September 23, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mindlayr

      Or it could have been the obvious lies and tired propaganda.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Calvin

      No one, not even an Iranian citizen would believe anything that the Supreme Leader of Iran would tell them. This is where Ahmadenijad gets his propaganda.

      September 23, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jane doe

    So what if he IS telling the truth about a 911 coverup?

    September 23, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • justageek

      Then we'll never know because no one takes a radical seriously.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Loqman El Djazairi

      he is not the only one saying. We have scholars in the US saying the same thing

      September 23, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      He has simply presented a theory for the last ten years and has not once given a shred of evidence to support his claim. Where I come from that means you are talking out of your a _ _.

      September 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. DaveNYUSA

    The guy is in NEW YORK CITY, and we can't get close enough to put a bullet in his head?

    September 23, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. SoldierofFortunes

    We sit and listen to lies all around us...put a cork in it whiners...in America is it all EGO – Edging God Out...and when that happens we live in houses we cannot afford buy clothes to show off rigs to rip up in ego...how much of our lives is for us??? good ol " us " of a...seems to me Iran has it right and is tilting it's head at countries who thrive on EGO...and when the banks fails and the stock markets crash...back to basics...there are already there enjoying life...why cant we?
    Oh yeah ego...and money and " richitus" that is global as well...in the meanwhile we do it doggy style with Isreal.again.

    September 23, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mrs Ashby

      Better than "snowballing" with the Iranians. Look it up.

      September 23, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. GOD SPEED Ahmadinejad!

    To Ahmadinejad: May God be with you and help you everyway. You are the real Hero! not like these soo called Western punks who can't save their own economy but still wants to put their nose into others business and have soo many Wars for no reason.
    I have some questions from all you supporters of Israel, how come not a single person disagree with what Israel doing in Palestine, killing unharm Kids, Women, Childrens? How come no one said anything when Israel killed soo many Turkish people who were taking Aids to Palestine ? You guys call Muslims terrorist. Pakistan is terrorist country, Afghanistan is a terrorist country, Iraq and Iran are terrorists but why not Israel?? as well as USA. Arn't they killing Innocents ???? You guys just can;t think outside the box! Western Media is the biggest blunder! Hidding the truth. SHAME ON YOU ISRAEL and USA!

    September 23, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mindlayr

      It's pretty simple. Quit abusing those who can't defend themselves and we'll leave you alone.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • SoldierofFortunes

      USA and Isreal is sleeping together – they are still in love and on a honeymoon...just wait until more shoes found under bed...then someone gets angry and WWIII starts...but oh wait somehow when Iran President goes home settles out the Western dust and embraces his family it will somehow be IRAN that did something...hey Iran can your scientists start making some lithuim and send free samples globally...lol...sorry the world is thrashing on ya...global soldiers with you!

      September 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • GOD SPEED Ahmadinejad!

      Hahaha well atlease you are agree with what I said. Good Luck with your Economy 😉

      September 23, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • that's the truth, truth

      You are obviously illiterate and unaware of the atrocities performed by the palestinian radicals that make Israelis live the way they have to live. Besides the Fact that we are talking about God's People, it is pretty simple: The palestinians who support hezbollah and hamas (and in turn of course anything Iran or Syria uses in their propaganda) are considered terrorists. If they would denounce the hatred and violence, Israel would not have to us force to protect their borders and sovereignty. And any idiot who thinks that 9/11 was a conspiracy needs to get a ct and mri scan of the brain. As a fireman and veteran, I can assure you that was not caused by explosives or an inside job. In my experience the government can't even pull of a surprise birthday party, too many people involved. And just like Ghadaffi, we should ask for an arrest warant for the Iranian president and send him to The Hague for International Crimes against Humanity. Or a bullet, that's probably cheaper.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      There is a reason that the Palestinians have been herded into their dark corners like rats. Its called Yassar Arafat and the intifadas.

      September 23, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • k smith

      But the rockets that are fired into Israel never kill any innocents right?
      "He hit me back first!!"
      Ghandi was about peace....Mother Theresa.....a Buddhist Priest....a higher humanitarianism is possible but unfortunately not the norm for the human specie. The eternal struggle of good and evil continues. What side are "you" on?
      Do "you" stand in the light or in the dark? What ever side a person stands on; they usually feel it is the correct or just side. If not just; justified. Do "you" choose to help the sick; the elderly; the poor and the weak or use their bones for your bread? Do you leave a corner of your field unplowed for the poor or do you hoard your grain and eat from two plates? "A man only needs to eat from one plate." -Ruth Marlow. We are stuck on this bus ride together. Best to get along. Maybe the Martians should land and try to kill us all so we are see we are all the same. We are all human beings. Maybe then we would work together but them again; no one would by any guns and there would be no fear to control people and make them get breast and hair implants so I guess that wont work. The dollar always wins. Though...C'mon Martians!

      September 23, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. SoldierofFortunes

    So we know IRAN is not evil...how can they be when they will not be a part of Peace in Isreal...so lets see who will...

    September 23, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lexxington

    People, You should take middle ground on these issues. Ahmadinejad would abuse the power of world dominance just like the United States does and just like Europe did. This doesn't take away from the truth of some of the things he has said. Open your eyes and realize that working class people are heavily swayed by those in power....how else do you manage a nation's population and keep things in "order"? So yes, the nation's of the west do tend to step on those who they consider to be lesser men than they are. I kind of enjoyed reading about this guy standing up to the modern day military bullies but I'm not fooled. God knows what this guy and his cohorts do to their OWN people over there! These guys in power are a big herd of hypocrites and none is much better than the other.

    September 23, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
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