NEW YORK – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke to the United Nations General Assembly Thursday, decrying “the altar of Zionism” and saying that the September 11th attacks were orchestrated by elements within the US government in order “to reverse the declining American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order also to save the Zionist regime.”
Ahmadinejad’s anti-Zionist remarks were a significant component of his speech, in which he asserted that the era of capitalism is over due in no small part to attitudes and beliefs and the “global management and ruling structures.”
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The Iranian President said that with the advent of atheism and egoism, “Man’s disconnection from Heaven detached him from his true self.” Ahmadinejad attributed the historic development of colonialism as a whole to humanity's betrayal of monotheism.
In speaking about the world’s current governance, Ahmadinejad referenced September 11th, 2001’s attacks on the World Trade Center as the starting point for a “propaganda machine” that “implied that the whole world was exposed to a huge danger, namely terrorism, and that the only way to save the world would be to deploy forces into Afghanistan.”
“It was said that some three thousand people were killed on the 11 September, for which we are all very saddened,” Ahmadinejad said. “Yet, up until now, in Afghanistan and Iraq, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, millions wounded and displaced and the conflict is still going on and expanding.”
Ahmadinejad said there were “three viewpoints” in identifying those responsible for the September 11th attacks. The main viewpoint, he said, “advocated by American statesmen,” is that “a very powerful and complex terrorist group, able to successfully cross all layers of the American intelligence and security, carried out the attack.”
The second viewpoint – which Ahmadinejad called the viewpoint of “the majority of the American people as well as other nations and politicians” – was “that some segments within the US government orchestrated the attack in order to reverse the declining American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order also to save the Zionist regime.”
Finally, he said, some believe September 11th “was carried out by a terrorist group but the American government supported and took advantage of the situation.” He conceded that “this viewpoint has fewer proponents.”
Ahmadinejad announced that, in light of this professed ambiguity as to the culpable parties, Iran will host a conference “to study terrorism and the means to confront it.” He also suggested that the UN set up a fact-finding group for September 11th.
Ahmadinejad continued on to decry “the Zionists.”
“The Zionists have imposed five all-out wars on the neighboring countries and on the Palestinian people,” he said, also accusing “the Zionists” and ‘the Zionist regime” of committing crimes against defenseless civilians in wars in Lebanon and Gaza, as well as attacking “a humanitarian flotilla.”
“This regime which enjoys the absolute support of some Western countries regularly threatens the countries in the region and continues publicly announced assassination of Palestinian figures and others, while Palestinian defenders and those opposing this regime are pressured, labeled as terrorists and anti-Semites.”
“All values, even the freedom of expression in Europe and in the United States, are being sacrificed at the altar of Zionism,” Ahmadinejad said.
Ahmadinejad proposed “the return of the Palestinian refugees to their homeland and the reference to the vote of the people of Palestine to exercise their sovereignty and decide on the type of governance.”
Ahmadinejad then turned his attention to the discussion of nuclear energy, which he called “clean and cheap and a heavenly gift which is amongst the most suitable alternatives to cut the pollutions emanating from fossil fuels.”
He decried nuclear weaponry, saying that Security Council members “have equated nuclear energy with the nuclear bomb, and have distanced this energy from the reach of most of nations by establishing monopolies and pressuring the IAEA, while at the same time, they have continued to maintain, expand and upgrade their own nuclear arsenals.”
“Not only the nuclear disarmament has not been realized [sic] but also nuclear bombs have been proliferated in some regions, including by the occupying and intimidating Zionist regime,” Ahmadinejad added, proposing that the year 2011 be proclaimed a year of nuclear disarmament, with “nuclear energy for all, nuclear weapons for none.”
Ahmadinejad then went on to denounce the structure of the UN, including the Security Council veto.
“The veto advantage grants impunity to aggression and occupation,” Ahmadinejad said. “How could, therefore, one expect competence while both the judge and the prosecutor are a party to the dispute? Had Iran enjoyed veto privilege, would the Security Council and the IAEA Director General have taken the same position in the nuclear issue?”
Ahmadinejad suggested revoking the veto privilege and making the General Assembly the “highest body” of the organization.
Calling “occupation of other countries under the pretext of freedom and democracy” an “unforgivable crime,” Ahmadinejad said “the world needs the logic of compassion and justice and inclusive participation instead of the logic of force, domination, unilateralism, war and intimidation.”
Iran, he said, has “observed the regulations of the IAEA,” yet has “never submitted to illegally imposed pressures, nor will we ever do so.”
“Those who have used intimidation and sanctions in response to the clear logic of the Iranian nation are in real terms destroying the remaining credibility of the Security Council and the trust of nations for this body, proving once and again how unjust is the function of the Council,” Ahmadinejad said.
“We have announced that we stand ready for a serious and free debate with the American Statesmen [sic] to express our transparent views on issues of importance ot the world in this very venue,” Ahmadinejad said, proposing an annual free debate in the General Assembly.
The end of his remarks focused on “making a world full of purity, safety and prosperity,” with Ahmadinejad adding that women are “a reflection of God’s beauty” and “the guardian of purity,” but that the “tendency to toughen the souls and behaviors of women deprives them from their very basic right of being a loving mother and caring wife.”
In a statement issued immediately following the speech, which met with applause in the General Assembly hall, United States Mission to the UN spokesman Mark Kornblau said, “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.”