Thursday, September 24, 2009

Western Delegates Walk Out on Ahmadinejad

Tweet It!

Sky News

British delegates joined a series of other nations in staging a walk-out in protest at remarks made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a speech to the UN. In his address, Mr Ahmadinejad launched a scathing attack on Israel, a frequent target of his fury, accusing it of adopting "inhuman policies" in the Palestinian territories. He claimed greater global freedom and the "awakening of nations" would force Israel to abandon its "hypocrisy and vicious attitudes".

"It is no longer acceptable that a small minority would dominate the politics, economy and culture of major parts of the world by its complicated networks, and establish a new form of slavery, and harm the reputation of other nations, even European nations and the US, to attain its racist ambitions," he said.

British delegates joined American and French representatives in leaving the room at the UN headquarters at this point. Mr Ahmadinejad went on to accuse foreign troops of spreading "war, bloodshed, aggression, terror and intimidation" in Iraq and Afghanistan. He lashed out at capitalism, arguing it had reached the end of the road and would suffer the same fate as Marxism.

And he also used his speech to brush off accusations that his re-election in June was a fraud, describing the polling day as "glorious and fully democratic". Notably absent from Mr Ahmadinejad's podium address was the subject of Tehran's stand-off with Western powers over its nuclear ambitions. As the Iranian leader prepared to address delegates, the UN Security Council members announced that they were expecting Iran to engage with them on the issue.

"We expect a serious response from Iran and will decide, in the context of our dual track approach, as a result of the meeting, on our next steps," Foreign Secretary David Miliband said on behalf of Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.