New York, Sept 24 (ANI): Diplomats from the U.S. and several European countries at the 65th UN General Assembly walked out in protest against the speech of Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, after he said that Washington staged the 9/11 attacks to protect Israel.
Ahmadinejad was speaking on the first day of a week-long UN diplomatic marathon at its New York headquarters.
According to the BBC, although he did not accuse Washington directly of being part of the 9/11 conspiracy, he said that the US government had orchestrated it to provide a pretext to reverse its declining grip on the Middle East. The US denounced his remarks on the 2001 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people, as "abhorrent and delusional".
Thirty-two EU delegates, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Costa Rica, backed the US in the walk-out.
Ahmadinejad, however, reportedly did not pay much heed to the protest and continued his attack on Zionism and Israel. He also added that sanctions against Iran were unjust and ineffective, and he stood ready for an annual public dialogue with the US president to air their differences because he believes that some members of the UN Security Council had "equated nuclear energy with nuclear bombs.
The Iranian president said Tehran would not submit to 'unnecessary pressure' from the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and added that he would host a conference on terrorism next year, and that 2011 should be the year of nuclear disarmament.
In response to the speech, Mark Kornblau, spokesman for the US mission at the United Nations criticised Ahmadinejad saying, "Rather than representing the aspirations and goodwill of the Iranian people, Ahmadinejad has yet again chosen to spout vile conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic slurs that are as abhorrent and delusional as they are predictable."
Though the International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly said Iran has failed to fully disclose its nuclear activities, Ahmadinejad said Tehran, which claims peaceful nuclear intentions, has observed IAEA regulations. But he said Iran has never submitted to illegally imposed pressures, nor will it ever do so. (ANI)