Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addresses the high level meeting on rule of law in the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters Monday, Sept. 24, 2012. (Credit: AP/Richard Drew)
Addressing the United Nations Wednesday (or at least the delegates who did not leave in protest) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticized pretty much the entirety of history — going back as far as Adam in the Garden of Eden, with a few gaps for brevity’s sake.
He decried U.S. geopolitical hegemony, “uncivilized Zionism,” environmental destruction (ironic given Iran’s role as a major oil exporter) and capitalism. He pondered what the world would be like had the First World War, Second World War, Vietnam War and his nation’s war with Iraq not happened. He delivered aphorisms on divine peace. And, in line with what he told the media earlier, he invoked the idea of a “new world order.”
It was Ahmadinejad’s eighth U.N. appearance and, as in previous years, it drew high-profile protests and walkouts. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, alongside Newt Gingrich, Patrick Kennedy and others, joined protests outside the U.N. Wednesday. The U.S. United Nations delegation decided not to attend Ahmadinejad’s speech.
Aside from platitudes about humanity and de rigueur barbs at the U.S. and Israel, the fiery leader said little to make headlines. Commentators are, however, already mulling Ahmadinejad’s statement that no country “feels secure or safe, even those who have a stockpile of atomic bombs.” The comment will likely be taken as a veiled assertion that Iran feels it needs nuclear armaments to feel at all safe.
Watch the video of Ahmadinejad’s entire address below:
Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email email@example.com.