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Posted at 12:17 PM ET, 09/26/2012

Ahmadinejad: Iran under threat by ‘uncivilized Zionists’

In his speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticized the political processes in the United States and Europe, decried the global “arms race,” and trumpeted the Nonaligned Movement while calling the U.N. inefficient. Instead, the Iranian leader called for a “just and fair” world order in which all countries are equal and “there is no double standard.”

Even as he called for fairness, Ahmadinejad said, as reported by Haaretz, " intimidation by nuclear weapons and weapons of mass-destruction by the hegemonic powers have become prevalent," and that "continued threat by the uncivilized Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example of this bitter reality."

The U.S. delegation boycotted his speech, citing “repulsive slurs” the Iranian leader has made about Israel. Outside the U.N. building, protesters gathered and called for an end to his rule.

Ahmadinejad’s remarks followed days of media interviews in which he reiterated the anti-American and anti-Israel sentiments he had voiced in the past.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addresses the 67th United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters Wednesday. (John Minchillo - AP)

Ahmadinejad previewed his U.N. appearance in interviews with CNN’s Piers Morgan and the Associated Press earlier this week:

On Israel

Asked to clarify his comments about “wiping” Israel off the face of the earth, Ahmadinejad told CNN:

“So when we say 'to be wiped,' we say for occupation to be wiped off from this world. For war-seeking to (be) wiped off and eradicated, the killing of women and children to be eradicated...The path is to recognize the right of the Palestinians to self-governance."

//He also expressed incredulity that Israel would “allow himself to threaten a rich and deeply rooted historical, ancient country such as Iran?”

On “Innocence of Muslims”

The Iranian leader seemed to condemn both the producers of the controversial anti-IslamYouTube video, as well as the violent protests that it sparked.

“We condemn any type of extremism,” he said. “Offending the Holy Prophet is quite ugly. This has very little or nothing to do with freedom and freedom of speech. This is the weakness of and the abuse of freedom, and in many places it is a crime. It shouldn't take place, and I do hope the day will come in which politicians will not seek to offend those whom others hold holy," Ahmadinejad told CNN, but added that, "extremism gives birth to following and subsequent extremists."

On U.S. relations

“Now even elementary school kids throughout the world have understood that the United States government is following an international policy of bullying,” he told the AP. “I do believe the system of empires has reached the end of the road. The world can no longer see an emperor commanding it.”

Earlier this week, Iran unveiled a new long-range drone which is capable of reaching most of the Middle East, including Israel.

"The new drone... can carry out combat and reconnaissance missions with its 24-hour non-stop flight capability," said the Web site of Iran's state-run Press TV, according to the Guardian

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- Read more headlines from around the world

By  |  12:17 PM ET, 09/26/2012

Tags:  World

 
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