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:


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."


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


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.


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.


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.


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. Jerry Swanson

    It seems that the majority of what Ahmadinejad said regarding the past 500 years of western European and U.S. history is true; a history of violent exploitation of other people. The plan laid out during WW II by the U.S. State Department and the Council on Foreign Relations, called the Grand Area strategy is described at:
    Amazon has it in stock:

    September 22, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • freedom for all


      September 22, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. gaspar

    even if I hate the guy, he made some points
    there are definitively weird connections between the bush and ben laden family
    and strange connection between, if I recall, president bush brother and some elements of the constructions of the building that played a role in the collapse

    That said, BEN LADEN was involved as was Al Qaida, I have no doubt on this
    and the iranian president questioning that is silly

    ask any engineer, the fall of the building did look like a staged demolitions
    the explanation that was advanced but not investigated and prosecuted
    was that in the case of major dammage (erthquake or otherwise)
    the building was rigged to self destroy, so it would fall "in place"
    rather than dammaged surrounding buildings (by a normal fall)

    if this hypothesis is true, then it should be investigated fully

    there is also the odity that the president was playing golf while a report on the risk of the attack was sitting at his desk
    9/11 was preventable

    I always said that Obama did a far better job than president bush in delivering results

    I also said we need to look inside the usa for shadow elements within our ranks
    that are friendly to china and other dictatorship
    and that may have been involved in a larger plan during 9/11

    certainly, bush closeness with Gadafi was out of place, ok maybe not that close,
    but its under his administration that relationships were reestablished with the lybian madman

    Also, if I recall, want it at the ground zero speech, or maybe a latter speech, that he endorsed the idea that we should be friendlier with criminal organisations like the hells angels and the russian mafia (well, he didnt name specifics, just said criminal organisations, or something similar, but it was clear what he meant), arguing that they are the ones that provided the fake passport and smuggled the culprit in the US

    Now, that was odd... from a president who didnt read the CIA report sitting on his desk, and decided to play golf instead.


    On the holaucaust topic, it is true that the jewish community exagerate a lot on using it in absurd ways.
    For example they attacked a pries in france because he compared president sarkozy extraditing the gypsies to the holocaust. Well, even if now I admire Sarkozy for his actions in Lybia, back then, I did disaprove of his actions, and the comparison was fair.

    It's time that the jewish community wake up from its slumber, and shakes the ghosts of the hollaucaust and the roman invasion (only 2000 years ago, I bet some jews are still angry at italians for it, even thought many are of lombard or visigoth descent. and that back then roman legionaries came from all provinces)

    you know the saying, you are what you focus on.
    if you think of the devil too much you become it, like the medieval inquisitors

    right now Israel, in its ways, is starting to look like 1940s germany

    Its up to the jewish community to change that


    on capitalism, hes both right and wrong
    I already said we must move to the next itteration of democracy... we need a star treck inspired democracy
    hes wrong in that I'm affraid he thinks china and iran are the good model

    I agree, but Israel comments were anti american, so it balance out
    I mean ... badge of honor... sounded like an insult
    Obama is a president not a soldier to be ordered
    "return to monotheism and justice,"
    wait, I hope he doesnt mean he's endorsing Perry
    I suspected a connection between the two, but this beat my wildest dreams
    *He blasted Israel, accusing it of "crimes *
    well jewish historians agree, so no big deal there
    and Nethanyuh only added munitions for anyone saying that (buldozers anyone...)
    why is the article bothering of mentioning previous speeches ?
    that guy doesnt run iran, he's a figurehead
    proving his crazy wont make a point....
    he's anoying because he's told to be
    and what he says is as expected propaganda
    whatever points he made is just sheer luck,
    thanks to Israel incompetence in recent years
    anyone who cant control his soldiers should be president, or resign at the first incident
    sorry, but the buldozer incident was ridiculous
    one would think nethnyuh was paid by china not to apologize
    so Israel could look bad, make enemies, and china
    would have an easier time rolling in africa
    iran: nuts
    Israel: nuts
    Gadafi: nuts
    china: nuts
    syria: nuts
    Obama: inteligent
    Sarkozy: inteligent
    whats his name in britain: inteligent
    the palestinian guy: rather cool
    jewish historians: verry cool
    peoples of Israel: still cool, but they need to get rid of the guy thats nuts

    September 22, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jason

    The eradication of native Americans, Slavery, the Inquisitions and countless other historical events compare...

    "Nothing compares to the Holocaust in terms of deaths caused by innocent people my angry friend."

    September 22, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Semper Fidelis

      Nothing does compare to the Holocaust. The inhumanity; the systematic cruelty from start to finish. The dreadful thing is, once you de-humanize a race , it is much easier to kill them. When asked why he murdered babies andyoung children a young German soldier answered "Because nits make lice" I tmade it easier for him, God help us.

      Iran, Hamas – in fact the Arab world are really anxious to finish the job for Hitler; it's in their manifestos in plain black and white. Would you like to live with that threat 24/7?
      Hamas threatened Abbas Not to ask the UN for recognition because to do so would mean sitting down with Israelis and that they will never do.
      Why should Israel listen to Obama? We ALL know what will happen if Israel are thrown under the bus. I don't want an action replay of the Holocaust and neither should anyone else.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  4. Wow

    Every post I've seen so far is stupid and arrogant. It's no wonder the rest of the world hates us

    September 22, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. nik green

    People should realize that Arabs are of the Semitic ethnotype as well as Jews. Such knowledge should mute these infantile name-callers.

    Ahmadinejad is a very poor example of a human being, or national leader....but he is absolutely correct in his assessment that the demise of the Twin Towers (and WTC#7) was carried out by explosives. The laws of physics cannot be violated, and fire alone CAN *NEVER* bring down entire steel framed buildings at near free fall acceleration (g, or 32ft.sec^-2).... not in THIS universe anyway.

    Both reaction products and *unreacted explosives residue* have been positively analyzed in the WTC dust using the finest state of the art equipment available, by scientists with no political agenda. Three individual studies, two in the US and one in Europe, all exhaustively and favorably peer reviewed, have been published, and NEVER refuted in the scientific literature.

    WHO placed the explosives in the towers? This has not been investigated. Perhaps al Qaeda did it? Maybe if that theory was advanced, the US public would lap it up, as more evidence against the hated Muslims.

    Let us have a full and proper investigation, with complete subpoena power, under oath, no stones left unturned, and clear up this crazy mess once and for all. If a bunch of different terrorists from al Qaeda were responsible, then they are probably still alive and out there... so lets go after them. If some of our people are guilty, lets throw them in jail for life.

    Just do it! Enough already. We are mature enough as a country to handle it, one would hope.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • gaspar

      As far as I know they do have an idea about the explosives. there was an hypothesis, as I explained, that it was intended as a failsafe to prevent the building causing major mayhem in all buildings surrounding it. It's obvious however that however came up with such a plan is an idiot, because the result was far worst than it should have been.... in theory

      however, its really hard to model such an event and be certain of what would have happened in both case. maybe the normal no engineered fall would have been worst.

      however one thing for sure, a normal fall would have taken a verry long time. so as I said, dumb and poorly engineered system, designed too much on destroying the building ASAP and not on letting peoples get out. and also not taking other things in account, like the cancer causing and lung dammaging dust.

      It would have made more sense not to build a tall building in the first place

      I always said our cities are designed like crap. a madman facination with mens reproductive organs. structires like dyson spheres, pyramids, and many others would be a lot more suited to our needs. there is no lack of such designs, but its unused.

      also our cities are too large. when a beehive reach a certain size, some bees leave and a new colony get built. same with ants and termites. humans are the dumbest creatures on earth. all we are doing is creating an unsunstainable system. we need smaller cities that meld into the ecosphere. cities that would produce exactly 2.0 kids per family. cities (and lifestyle) is what kill our birthrate.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Sailor Jerry

      You two do know that steel melts right? And so do rocks and stones and everythin else. U do know that jet fuel burns hot enough to melt steel?! U two should have a movie with Mel Gibson called conspiracy theory 2

      September 23, 2011 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
  6. an



    September 22, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • HomeyDontPlayDat

      Just because you can't find the article from the front page like everyone else doesn't mean they didn't report it.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • gaspar

      It was on tv today or yesterday, on cnn. I'm sure its somewhere. America isnt china

      September 23, 2011 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  7. Hank

    I believe that (someone?) in our government knew about the attacks before 9/11, knew to the point that they were part of it. Just like when JFK was killed. I also believe capitalism will be our downfall.

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

      Aaron Russo spilt a few beans! You might very well be right.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. US

    Action Talks nonsense walks. Unfortunately, Here are the 2 facts about the Iran & USA

    1. Iran: released 2 hikers (after the fair trail)!

    2. USA: killed the innocent Troy Davis!

    Anything more to say???????!!!!

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

      Here. I fixed it for you:
      1. Iran: released 2 hikers (a day before his UN speech)!

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

      What are you smoking? Can we have some too? Everything seems better in "imagination land" when you're on drugs.

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

      I'd say that's an accurate comment. Good for you.

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

      bro the state of Georgia executed Troy Davis, not the federal US. You dont make sense.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JonAlberts

    you people might as well get on your hands and knees and start crawling around and saying baaa baaa you stupid sheeple. if you believe one thing the us news organizations say you are a stupid moron with no brain. if you even remotely looked at other countries news you would understand. if the us would show the news like al Jazeera arabic does people would be rioting in the streets. instead you idiots are worried about who is going to be the next american idol... they do this on purpose though and you don't even realize it. if you did you would know what the man says at least has some merit. If we would stop supporting israel we would reduce the deficit almost immediately.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • CK

      Very well said Jon Alberts

      September 22, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • breese81

      Ok HALF-WIT!

      September 23, 2011 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
    • JonAlberts

      half-wit. go get back in your sheep pen, and listen to what they tell you. see how far in life that gets you; you dumba**!

      September 23, 2011 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mike in SA

    Phuck him

    September 22, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. John

    Ahmadinejad says what most of us are afraid to say. He makes some very valid points that are hard to argue.

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

      Yes indeed. Good comment.

      September 22, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • CK


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

      We're all afraid to say that there are no gays living in Iran, but Ahmadinejad had the courage to speak the truth.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. Joe

    There's an old saying, "There are always two sides to the story". We've been flying cruise missles (which are little airplanes, with explosive warheads, flown by computers) into their buildings and killing their people for years. So when they do it back they're the only bad guys? And the US goverment hasn't used 911 to justify perpetual warfare and the destruction of civil liberties here in America. And we're not an empire? And we don't favor Israel over the Palestinians? Please.

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

      Thank God. There are still people out there who can think with a mind of their own. Thank you Joe.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. lorne

    Canada didn't walk out. They and Israel didn't show up at all.
    Kudos to both.

    September 22, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dave836

    Lol. Ahmadinejad be trolling 🙂

    September 22, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. solowd

    Ahmadinejad is an outstanding troll.

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