Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke to a group of Muslim figures in New York on Monday night, saying that "The Iranian nation will never recognize the Zionist regime," Fars News Agency reported on Tuesday.

Ahmadinejad went on to reiterate Iranian support for the Palestinians, as well as the Lebanese.

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"Palestinians can cut the hands of the aggressor and put an end to the Zionist regime's presence in the region," he reportedly said.

The Iranian leader also criticized Western media for having a double standard in reporting on the case of an American woman facing the death penalty.

Ahmadinejad accused the West of launching a "heavy propaganda" campaign against the case of an Iranian woman who had been sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery but failing to react with outrage over the imminent execution of Teresa Lewis in Virginia, according to state-run IRNA.

Ahmadinejad noted that "millions of Internet pages" have been devoted to Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, whose stoning sentence was suspended in July and her case put under review.

"Meanwhile, nobody objects to the case of an American woman who is going to be executed," he was quoted as saying.

"Today Western media are propaganda agents who continuously speak about democracy and human rights though their slogans are sheer lies," he added.

Iran says it has put the stoning on hold for now also has indicated Ashtiani could be hanged for her conviction of playing a role in her husband's 2005 murder.

The Iranian president's remarks were reportedly met with the applause of his audience. Ahamadinejad is visiting New York to attend the UN's General Assembly meetings, taking place this week.

In a speech on the second day of a UN anti-poverty summit on Tuesday, Ahmadinejad said capitalism is facing defeat and is calling for an overhaul of the "undemocratic and unjust" global decision-making bodies.



The Iranian leader called on world leaders, thinkers and global reformers "to spare no effort" to make practical plans for a new world order.

To spotlight this effort, Ahmadinejad proposed Tuesday that the United Nations name the current decade the Decade for Joint Global Governance.

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