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. jim

    Can somebody please rub the bottle in the opposite direction that would make this AhmadInAJar disappear back to the bottle.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • pauline

      A clever funny! Thanks!~

      September 23, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
  2. Darlene Buckingham

    Israel is using white phosphorous bombs. This is where they lost me. I am not anti-semitic to say that this is unacceptable and that Israel is committing crimes against humanity. The US Alost me when there was no weapons of mass destruction and the official version of 9/11 has more holes than swiss cheese. He made some good points and many people see this. The NATO nations are not fooling anybody anymore. May wisdom, knowledge, logic, truth and integrity guide the decisions of our political leaders and they remember their sacred responsibility to take care of life. PEace to ALL.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • NonZionist

      Well said, Darlene Buckingham.

      I had a similar moment about 30 years ago - when I found the U.S. defending the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia. I was heart-broken for months, then finally I began to understand that there is a difference between America the country and the global empire that has swallowed up our founding principles.

      Five or six years later, I began to get first-hand information about Israel's occupation. What I learned horrified me and shocked me. I was reminded of the behavior of the Third Reich.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Hoofleau

    How come you guys don't use reply to post your replies to a comment you are replying to? Unless it's CNN doing this.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wu Dayi

      Either the program screws it up or it's this funny little dude from Iran who is enchanting the comments.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      Hi.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Josh

    You people who continually blame the Jews for everything are so ignorant. So typical of an uneducated opinion. Why don't those who support his opinion go leave North America and live in Iran. Then we will see who is having fun.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • sonic10158

      If there was a like button on here, I would definitely press it.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • AmericanEagle

      just because somebody disagreed with that doesn't give you the right to kick us out of our home. Yes israel is controlling this nation, you don't need to be intelligent to see it and very soon we gonna change the name of this country to the United States of Israel

      September 22, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • CK

      No Josh not all Jews. Just the Israelis. Before the West went into the Middle East and divided the lands, muslims, jews, and christians lived in harmony in that region. In fact they still do in many parts of the world. And as for complaining.. the jews should stop whining about the Holocaust. S*#t happens. Get over it.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • pauline

      Oh, how juvenile... What, we can't "live with" people who have different opinions? Everyone has to wear the same shade of yellow?

      September 23, 2011 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
  5. vernon

    Satan incarnate.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Richard

    If I were on the US team I would not walk out. I would shine a green laser into his eyes or shoot spit balls at him while he was a the podium. They guy is an idiotic nut so we should treat him like we are in grade school again. We could have a belching contest while he speaks. I so don't care what he says. No one else should either. You know his plane does not have to make it back to Iran. Just thinking. Good night.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chimmee Chooowww

      Pressing the like button. I would have brought a whoopee cushion, and ripped off some loud ones in the mic while he rambled.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • pauline

      Uhhh....sure...I'm real sure that what you suggest would be sooo effective.

      September 23, 2011 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ahmed Mufarech

    You are completely mistaken, this rethoric about jews and that issue is just a smoke curtain to cover this mad dog abuse against his own people. He talks about jews trying to use the same garbage that Hitler and all those thugs used in the past in order to gain power, unite the poor, the incompetent around him and give him absolute power to be a forever dictator. This jew rethoric will no longer work as it worked in tha past because nowadays is not that easy to convince with lies and absurd issues the vast majority of people around the world thanks to the internet and the public information of the XXI century. It will not happen again what gave Hitler the power in Europe nowadays that Europeans and Americans and most of the world have acces to the right information, even thou this CRAZY DICTATOR AHMAJINEDA or whatever is trying to cut his own people acces to the internet and information.How come someone in this world can support this mad dog without having something to gain? The palestine state is an utopy and will not exist unless IRAN and Ahkmadinehad or whatever this crazy gay name is will give the palestine people a piece of IRAN and send them a flotilla to pick them up in Israel and transport them to the new palestine state in IRAN

    September 22, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • ProperVillain

      I agree. The guy has zero conscience when it comes to abusing and/or killing his own people to stay in power. I stand by my original statement that the CIA missed a golden opportunity to throw him in the back of a van in NY and whisk him away...never to be seen again. The people of Iran would finally be rid of that madman and have a reason to rejoice.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Garnet69

    Boy, that hate is going to tear you apart. If you are capable, look at yourself from the third person. Think beyond your own hatred. Take all that energy and direct it toward the positive instead of the negative. Life is like a chess game, think 5 moves ahead. Imagine if Iran were to nuke Israel.....what would happen next? Where would it end? As Einstein said, " World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones".

    September 22, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. moz

    What makes this man such a problem? are they walking out because of the lies that spew from his mouth? or are they walking out because if they listened their show in interest would of course have people questioning this country...i so happen to have a little known friend who works for the UN ..people have been put in place to walk out so to encourage a walk out. Imagine the 4th of july if you will , star filled sky parks are filled and the fireworks show is starting to slow down. Do you wait for the last spark in the sky ? or do you start to leave once you see the people next you packing it up ?

    September 22, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dufus

      Yeah, because people in the US never, ever question or criticize their government here. Oh wait, that's Iran where they never question or criticize their government, for fear of imprisonment, death, you know those little things.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. downwithneonazies

    the world outside the USA and Israel agree with this man.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheBossSaid

      Yet France, Germany and other countries got up and walked out. Canada didn't even bother to show up. Get a life you moron.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      Really? Like whom?

      September 22, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dufus

      Delusion isn't just a... oh WTH, you're just delusional......

      September 22, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • pauline

      Yakobi! YAKOBI! Time to go back on your medication. You're not making any sense.

      September 23, 2011 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
  11. Terry Brookman

    In the same time period as the Holocaust Linen/ Stalin killed about sixty million and the Politburo consisted of fifty three people, forty nine of them were Jews. Chairman Mao in China killed eighty million of his people or more and called it the cultural revolution. We import mostly Chinese goods and give them aid plus our jobs. Yes we give them millions even while their government makes thirty two billion in profit a month. So whatever that goof ball in Iran has to say is small potato's compared to our stupidity and the first time he tests a nuke someone will vaporise him.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • pauline

      Frankly, who can deny what you say? It's true. Well said, my friend.

      September 23, 2011 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dustin H

    A walkout is to put it simply quite dumb. The delegates should field what he has to say and use it to crush him, or seriously consider some of the things he has to say. He is correct about the 9/11 attacks, so who's to say he is wrong? Of course, it is only blind ignorant people that like to either act like us Americans or who actually are. We all need to start listening what we all have to say. The close-mindedness has gotten us nowhere so far....

    September 22, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • so smart guy

      you saying the faked 9/11?

      or what other brilliant thought are you peddling?

      give it a rest, no one, even yourself, has the stomach to read your post... it is just that lame

      September 22, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dufus

      Move out of your Mom's basement and get a job. Then you can be busy enough so your delusional thoughts won't get the best of you.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  13. Harvardgrad

    Ew you hateful garbage. Learn from history's mistakes, don't repeat or wish them. By the way, muslims are the ones who are always complaining, not Jews, not Christians, not Buddhists, not Hindus, etc. only islam. Disgusting, disgusting.
    On that note, just sit back and watch the demise of all islamic countries around the world. Its time karma came back for them 😉 word of advice: learn to use protection, when you live off of welfare. Peace, (oh and learn the real meaning of this word while you are at it)

    September 22, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • AO1JMM

      Well said.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. N

      What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having read it.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Mario

      Well don't forget that they ruled over your forefathers for centuries. Their demise is onlya few decades old. You are right Karma is a b**ch, watch out for your future generations

      September 23, 2011 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
    • nasiri

      your statements are anti american.we should find the facts and not talk lke a child. how much do you know about islam or any other religion. do your home work. Rule number one never generalize. do not take one side or another ,check your sources.quick thing would be read the wikipedia on each religion quickly. You can study any number of books. rediscovering the commonalities between islam and chritianity. you can simply google this headline.the popes and most current christian scholars have very cordian relationship with the ielamic scholars. for many many years, but that does not become news because it has no money making value, we can not trust fox if we love cnn and vice versa,. if freedom of speech and flag burning of the f US flag are accepted, then we should listen to everybody,analyze and then comment. I zan not blame christian religion for the first and second world waes where no muslims were involved,or the holocost where no muslims were involved, Americas homicide rate is the highest in the world, you can not turn on the TV without a story about murder. Do not forget religion was used to .give validity to racism etc. most homicides are caused by so called christians that is many times the number killed by outsiders, that is not christianity, so do not generalize.Any belief system need extra religious knowledge to mature, then everybody will get along. Islam has almost 1.57 billion followers, obviously there are many ignorant and radicals in every religion, look at the recent killer in Norway, Look at David Koresh or the Oklohoma bomber,the ku klux Klan, how many different versions of bible there are. Islam is the second largest religion in America and in the world, Both gulf wars were possible because of the support of the surrounding countries, all muslim. Who said that the terrorists are the representatives of islam, which islamic scholar. I am a muslim doctor but all my employees are christians,most of them are non practicing, but I am not going to hire anybody based on his / her religious belief., There are thousands of muslim doctors engineers professors, scientists.in fact Sears Towers architect was muslim, F R Khan. Do you know the history of people like Joshua Evans,Gary Miller,Yosuf Estes, etc, Islam is the fastest growing religion in the western world, there is only one Quran, While I very much respect your freedom of speech, but I could not disagree more because your generalization hurts the feeling of many, many feel victimized by the Ben La Den and by the Media like fox, because they are the biggets and irresponsible. Thankfully inspite of all these, the tigr is turning, we are tired of the terrorist and those generalize.My best professor is a Jew. I have a Jewish and Chritsian tenant(both doctors) and we are in the same building for several years. The person who was taking care of my Mosque is a very honest man named Chris. I sent my daughter to a Baptist school. I can go on and on.

      September 23, 2011 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  14. Polishing for stand up circuit

    For a radical holocaust denier, this dude really charms em with his shtick. I don't hink he believes what he says either. He's seems like he's almost just laughing now playing the don imus radio shock jock role. He's ready for the comedy circuit.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dave

    RON PAUL is the People's Choice in 2012! Place signs, bumper stickers, and volunteer. We only have one shot at freedom. All for Paul. Join the REVOLUTION!!!!!

    September 22, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
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