U.S. walks out of Ahmadinejad speech
UNITED NATIONS – The U.S. thumbed its nose today at Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad, walking out of the U.N. General Assembly hall during the Iranian's address to the 2011 meetings.
The U.S. mission to the U.N. issued a sharp reaction, but then refused to identify the low-ranking U.S. delegates who remained sitting in the front row of the hall.
The two, a man and a woman, were simply listed as "an area adviser and aide."
Mark Kornblau, a press aide to Ambassador Susan Rice, would take no questions but did issue a terse reaction:
"Ahmadinejad had a chance to address his own people's aspiration for freedom and dignity. Instead he turned to abhorrent anti-Semitic slurs and despicable conspiracy theories," the statement said.
The Iranian speech, relatively short lasting about 20 minutes, was presented as "different" view of world events and history.
Another 20 nations or so joined the U.S. in the walkout.
Included were the French and British, but the Russians, Chinese and Palestinians remained.
That group was considered important, because the two and the Iranians are believed to be the main supporters of demands by the Palestinian Authority for a U.N. membership.
But P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas, perhaps fearing further straining the already delicate relations with the White House, stayed away from the speech, though he was at U.N. headquarters quietly lobbying for world body membership.
He is expected to formally request that membership when he addresses the U.N. on Friday.
Ahmadinejad, on his annual voyage to New York City, also launched an unusually harsh attack on the U.S.
Even by past standards it was sharp.
The "different" angle taken by the Iranian included proclamations such as:
"In the United States, 80 percent of the financial resources are controlled by 10 percent of its population."
"Who abducted forcefully tens of millions of people from their homes in Africa and other regions of the world during the dark period of slavery?"
"Who triggered the 1st and 2nd World Wars that left 70 million killed and hundreds of millions injured?"
"Who created wars on the Korean Penninsula and Vietnam?"
- "Who imposed through deceit and hypocrisy the Zionism and over 60 years of war, homelessness and mass murder on the Palestinian people?"
The Iranian also took a swipe at his New York City hosts:
"Who used the mysterious September 11 incident as a pretext to attack Afghanistan and Iraq?"
New York sources say that Ahmadinejad again was denied access to Ground Zero, as in past years.
The president said he wanted to pay "respects;" but city hall saw it as a propaganda stunt.
Meanwhile, many a diplomat is shrugging his shoulders at the Iranian speech.
Iran has been backing the Palestinian campaign for U.N. membership.
But with such a rabid speech, some delegates admitted reconsidering "the timing" of the Palestinian move.
Abbas and his delegation avoided any comment on the Iranian speech.
In fact, no P.A. diplomat wanted any public part of the Ahamdinejad tirade.
Late Thursday, Karean Peretz of the Israeli U.N. mission sent WND a rebuttal on behalf of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In part the Netanyahu rebuttal said:
"Iran's president once again, as in his previous appearances in New York and elsewhere, brought a message of hostility towards the family of nations as well as threats to international peace and security...
"This should come as no surprise. Less than two weeks ago, Ahmadinejad so cordially hosted today by the U.N., reiterated his hollow assertion that the attack of 9/11 was a western plot, a decade after more than 3,000 innocent victims lost their lives ...
"Tehran's hostility to the Jewish state and people is also plain for all to see. Iranian leaders repeatedly call for Israel's destruction, deny the Holocaust and openly support terrorist organizations in word and deed."
On Friday, Abbas and Netanyahu address the U.N.