Iran’s Ahmadinejad attacks West, prompts walk-out

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad flayed the West on Thursday for a catalog of misdeeds, but his address to the United Nations passed over Tehran’s nuclear program and the Palestinian statehood issue.
In his 30-minute speech, the Iranian leader also failed to mention the pro-democracy uprisings that have swept the Arab world this year, including Syria, Iran’s closest Arab ally.
U.S. delegates walked out when Ahmadinejad said “arrogant powers” threatened anyone who questioned the Holocaust and the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States with sanctions and military action.
Other Western delegations soon made their exit in what has become an annual feature of Ahmadinejad’s U.N. appearances.
Ahmadinejad struck out at Zionism, but did not comment on the issue that has dominated this year’s General Assembly — the Palestinian plan to ask the Security Council to admit their nascent state as a full U.N. member.
He accused Washington of using the “mysterious” September 11 attacks as a pretext for wars on Iraq and Afghanistan and said Western powers “view Zionism as a sacred notion and ideology.”
“By using their imperialistic media network which is under the influence of colonialism they threaten anyone who questions the Holocaust and the September 11 event with sanctions and military actions,” he added.
The White House dismissed Ahmadinejad’s attack on U.S. policy and accused Iran’s government of “vile mistreatment” of its own citizens. “I find it rich that the Iranian president would have such criticism,” spokesman Jay Carney said.