By Ria Novosti
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used his speech at the UN General Assembly on Thursday to accuse the U.S. and other Western powers of a range of crimes.
Delegations from a number of UN member states, including the U.S., U.K, France, Germany and Israel either left the hall during Ahmadinejad’s appearance or were not present at its onset.
Ahmadinejad said the September 11, 2001 attacks were “mysterious” and that they had been used as a “pretext” for U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
He also said “arrogant powers” forbid any questioning of either the 9/11 attacks or the Holocaust.
“They threaten anyone who questions the Holocaust and the September 11 event with sanctions and military actions,” he said.
The vast majority of Ahmadinejad’s statements were in the form of rhetorical questions.
“Who abducted forcefully millions of people from their homes in Africa?” he said, before suggesting compensation for the victims of slavery.
“Which governments are always ready to drop thousands of bombs on other countries, but ponder and hesitate to provide aid to famine-stricken people in Somalia or in other places?” he also asked.
Although he made no direct comment on the Arab uprisings, he asked “can the flowers of democracy blossom from NATO missiles?”
He also criticized the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. forces and his subsequent burial at sea.
But Ahmadinejad did not comment on the imminent Palestinian bid for statehood. The U.S. has said it will veto any Palestinian request to the Security Council for full member status of the UN.
Ahmadinejad’s speech came two days after two U.S. hikers found guilty of espionage were released from an Iranian jail and allowed to leave the country.
Hundreds of people gathered outside the UN building to protest the Iranian leader’s presence.