Iran’s president said on Wednesday his country was under constant threat of military action from “uncivilized Zionists” and called for a new world order not dominated by Western powers in the service of “the devil.”
In his eighth address to the U.N. General Assembly’s annual gathering of world leaders, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad painted a gloomy picture of a world driven by greed rather than moral values.
“The current abysmal situation of the world and the bitter incidents of history are due mainly to the wrong management of the world and the self-proclaimed centers of power who have entrusted themselves to the devil,” Ahmadinejad said, in what is expected to be his last address to the world body.
There was no reiteration of his comments to journalists in New York on Monday that Israel has no roots in the Middle East and would be “eliminated.”
However, in a clear reference to Israel, he told the assembly: “Continued threat by the uncivilized Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example of this bitter reality.”
On Tuesday, in his address to the General Assembly, U.S. President Barack Obama warned Iran he would do what it takes to prevent it from getting nuclear arms and said there was not an unlimited time to solve the crisis via diplomacy.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is due to speak at the United Nations on Thursday, has hinted Israel could strike Iran’s nuclear sites, and has criticized Obama’s position that sanctions and diplomacy should be given more time to stop Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Without mentioning the United States by name, Ahmadinejad took aim at Washington’s global dominance, asking: “Are we to believe that those who spend hundreds of millions of dollars on election campaigns have the interest of the people of the world at their hearts?”
Representatives of the United States, Canada and Israel chose not to be present in the U.N. auditorium for the speech, which coincided with Yom Kippur, one of the most important Jewish holidays.