The U.S. and several European delegations walked out of the U.N. speech of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday after he said most people believe the U.S. government was behind the Sept. 11 terror attacks in order to assure Israel's survival. In his speech to the annual General Assembly, Ahmadinejad said it was mostly U.S. government officials who believed a terrorist group was behind the suicide hijacking attacks that brought down New York's World Trade Center and hit the Pentagon.
Another theory, he said, was "that some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy, and its grips on the Middle East, in order to save the Zionist regime" — his way of characterizing Israel."The majority of the American people as well as most nations and politicians around the world agree with this view," Ahmadinejad told the 192-nation assembly.
The U.S. and some European delegations left shortly after Ahmadinejad made the remarks.
The U.S. delegation issued this statement in response: "Rather than representing the aspirations and goodwill of the Iranian people, Mr. Ahmadinejad has yet again chosen to spout vile conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic slurs that are as abhorrent and delusional as they are predictable."
The Iranian leader also spoke of threats to burn the Quran by U.S. religious groups, calling that an act of "evil." He held up a copy of the Muslim holy book, saying "the truth cannot be burned."Earlier, President Barack Obama spoke to the session , saying "the United States and the international community seek a resolution to our differences with Iran, and the door remains open to diplomacy should Iran choose to walk through it."
"But the Iranian government must demonstrate a clear and credible commitment, and confirm to the world the peaceful intent of its nuclear program," Obama said.U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, for his part, warned kings, prime ministers and presidents of growing political polarization and social inequalities and implored U.N. members to show greater tolerance and mutual respect to bring the world together.
In his keynote speech, the U.N. chief told leaders from the 192-member nations that "today, we are being tested."
Ban said people everywhere are living in fear of losing their jobs, too many are caught in conflict, "and we see a new politics at work — a politics of polarization."
"We hear the language of hate, false divisions between 'them' and 'us,' those who insist on 'their way' or 'no way,'" he said.
In times of such polarization and uncertainty, Ban said, "let us remember, the world still looks to the United Nations for moral and political leadership."
The meeting follows a three-day summit to promote the achievement of U.N. anti-poverty goals by 2015 that wrapped up late Wednesday night. Many leaders who attended that summit remained in New York for the ministerial session, and will shift gears to other world issues from the continuing impact of the global financial crisis to terrorism and nuclear proliferation.
Source : msnbc