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. CK

    Ummm. When the white man came to take over the US they massacred the American Indians. Isn't that hate? They came into their land and destroyed then. Oh the US government hates all right just in a more devious way. Here is an account from a friend of mine who is a Christian Serb. During the war in that region, the US military planted chemical warfare in fields where children would play/walk. It wasn't the obvious bombing type of warfare. If it was it would make them the bad guys. It was the silent type in which exposure to the chemicals slowly killed the children.

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

      Go to the library and discover something called books. Stop blaming others for everything, acknowledge your mistakes for that is the only way to truly grow.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • HomeyDontPlayDat

      "When the white man came to take over the US they massacred the American Indians." — CK

      Sorry. Even Ahmadinejad would think YOU are crazy for believing "the white man" came to take over the United States of America from the "American Indians".

      September 22, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • CK

      Harvard Grad. This is great advice. The US govt and most Americans should follow it.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dufus

      Obviously you don't CK.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
    • pauline

      Pretty much every nationality has endured enslavement and massacres at the hand of a conqueror. Despite the tremendous power you would give the "white man", ALL people of ALL colors and races have been conquerors. It's just that the Scandinavians were so much better at it than most. It's just a fact. Get over it.

      September 23, 2011 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
  2. Dano

    Ahmadinejad is only a puppet. Iran is a theocracy.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Iran is a lost cause

      really isolate is the only course

      there is nothing left to discuss

      September 22, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. abd

    walking out is a very impolite Act, assume he is your enemy, don't you listen to your enemy !!!!! those who walked out are trying to show off, and Uncivilized.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • don't give him the time of day

      that is why you can video record it... the walk out is very symbolic and says a lot

      he is that disgraceful and wrong that to treat him like he disserves an audience is too nice

      September 22, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. lmao

    God Bless him!

    September 22, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • pretty sure the devil has a special chair waiting for him

      god has nothing to do with him

      September 22, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. LesterDiamond

    ImaDinnerJacket, the next terrorist to get whacked.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. HomeyDontPlayDat

    Headline: "Yep. He's still nuts." No need for an article.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. bill

    Always the same never changing racist to the max..

    September 22, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Truth Teller

      Everyone needs to walk out when NutandYahoo, the terrorist responsible for 9/11 and sodomizing the president of the United States.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. laila

    He has alot of good points...too bad people are afraid of truth and can't answer his questions, instead calling him crazy..he invited Bush and obama many times to come and have a debate with him...why cant they face him.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Good daughter

      The man IS loony-toons. My Father was a Capt. in WWII and freed one of the camps in Germany – I know that the Holocost happened. So do the Germans that were asked to assist in taking care of the people in the camp after the US soldiers moved in. If A. is going to re-invent history, he needs to wait until all the people that were actually there have died. It is hard to imagine one person hating so much, his soul must be completely black.
      I know answering you probably is a waste of time but I thought I'd try anyway.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dufus

      You can't debate with lunatics, they'll never admit they're wrong. And yes, I'm referring to the Iranian leader.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  9. ROCKWOOD

    You know.....although I think this guy is nuts.....but besides that point....U.S. taxpayers are paying for U.S. representatives to be sittin their a$$'s in those seats and representing the U.S. I don't think them walking out is too smart of an idea, nor not showing up. It's really rather insulting and makes the U.S. look ignorant. Furthermore, as they always say, keep your friends close and your enemies closer.......

    September 22, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • jay

      agree with what you say....but govt. never tries to get closer to enemy....instead they send army, marine, etc...and make things worst

      September 22, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Leafy

    Nice of you not to mention that Canada walked out, considering you depend on them. Without Canadian oil you would freeze to deth in the winter, this is a fact CNN.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Don't even mention Canada.
      The Harper Government is pathetic and blatantly racist towards arabs and muslims.
      Prime Minister Harper hosted Netanyahu while Israel attacked a humanitarian vessel in International Waters.
      He offered not a word of criticism for the war criminal.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Semper Fidelis

      Canada and Israel didn't walk out. They weren't in there at the time.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Semper Fidelis

      @Robert – the Canadian government is "pathetic" because they don't support your President's criminal plan to throw Israel under a bus by reverting to the pre-1967 borders??? I don't think so.

      The Israelis have offered land and peace to Palestinans 6 times; the lasy time being in 2000. Arafat stormed out after telling Israel to stick their offer where the sun don't shine! Please attend to the facts.

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

      Yeah right, that whole 10% of daily consumption from Canada. I'm pretty sure the US could replace it if you shut off the spigot.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  11. vernon

    It seems like every culture that has denied Israel its freedom and has set out to destroy the 'apple of Gods' eye' has eventually been destroyed.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • alex hong

      actually Saudi doesn't allow jews to enter of anyone with an Israeli passport will be sent back. They have started 60 yrs. ago. 10 yrs. later they found oil and are the richest most prosperous people. israel is a disgrace to the world.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Is that the same God who allowed the Holocaust to happen?
      Suddenly he's on your side?

      September 22, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Semper Fidelis

      Since you mention God. He gave men unconditional free will and a set of rules [commandments ] to live by. If evil men CHOOSE to defy the laws of God and commit Genocide, it is they who are responsible, no-one else.
      However they will have to ANSWER to God at the end of the day.

      To blame God is juvenile and it let's the perpetrators off the hook. We are ALL responsible for our own actions.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  12. vero

    i like that he is honest and says what he really thinks–there is no covering up–he is right out there for all to see. he hates usa and makes it clear–no doubt about that. at least he is not sucking up. walking out is childish. it sends a signal that no one should respect or listen to him. if you disagree, make your counterpoint. should we walk out every time we hear something we don't agree with? personally, i think they are using the uranium for energy, which they have the right to do. we should not start another war–please.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Platypus

    If the man acts like a monkey, walks like a monkey and talks like a monkey, well we all know it, isn’t it? HE IS A F...G MONKEY!

    September 22, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • freedom for all

      and youre still a platypus?

      September 22, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. AO1JMM

    Iamadinnerjacket is a clown and a puppet. How about Irans "supreme" religious leader come and spit out some of that ignorance for the world to hear?

    September 22, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. GT

    For fear that the politicians will lose the Jewish and Greek minority votes in the USA, they look at things from a very acute angle.

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