Ahmadinejad attacked the United States for its history of slavery, causing two world wars, using a nuclear bomb against “defenceless people,” and imposing and supporting military dictatorships and totalitarian regimes on Asian, African and Latin American nations. He denounced Israel and questioned the Holocaust. Ahmadinejad went on to accuse NATO of occupying Afghanistan and of sanctioning drug trafficking, claiming that narcotics production has risen since the US-led invasion a decade ago.
The Iranian leader said this made the U.S. and its allies unfit to dominate the international system, and called for change to the structure of the UN security council.
The U.S. Mission to the United Nations responded with a statement on his U.N. speech, “Mr. Ahmadinejad had a chance to address his own people’s aspirations for freedom and dignity, but instead he again turned to abhorrent anti-Semitic slurs and despicable conspiracy theories.”
Farideh Farhi, an Iran expert at the University of Hawaii, said, “Apparently now he has decided that by going to the core of American sensitivities — in the same way he did with Israel by questioning the legitimacy of that country’s existence — he can continue to keep himself at the center of global attention while deflecting attention away from his dismal domestic record.”
Outside the UN headquarters hundreds of people were holding a rally at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, to protest the Iranian leader’s presence at the United Nations. There were huge banners, one of which read, “Down With the Islamic Republic of Iran”, while children stamped on a poster of Mr Ahmadinejad.