Ahmadinejad’s diatribe against US and Israel countered by Russian openness to sanctions
The Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinjad’s excessive oratory, matched by the shuffle of Western delegations led by the US leaving the UN General Assembly chamber, have been a typical feature of every new UN General Assembly session in the last three years. This time, the Iranian president preceded his speech with press interviews in which he tried to sound more reasonable while refusing to answer questions on his denial of the Holocaust and Iran’s nuclear program.
But then, on the podium Wednesday, Sept. 23, he declared: “American power has reached the end of the road and is paralyzed. It is no longer possible to inject thousands of billions of dollars of unreal wealth into the world economy simply by printing worthless paper,” Ahmadinejad said, hinting at the ways in which the Obama administration is trying to solve the global economic crisis.
He went to say: “The engine of unbridled capitalism, with its unfair system of thought, has reached the end of the road and is unable to move,” he said, adding:
“The time has come for an end to those who define democracy and freedom and set standards while they themselves are the first who violate its fundamental principles. They can no longer be the judge and executioner.”
In a typical anti-Semitic diatribe, Ahmadinejad said: “Although they are a miniscule minority, they have been dominating an important portion of the financial and monetary centers as well as the political decision-making centers of some European countries and the US in a deceitful, complex and furtive manner.”
Appropriating President Barack Obama’s campaign slogan, “Yes, we can”, Ahmadinejad attempted to differentiate between US policy and President Obama’s approach, when he said: “Most people, including the people of the United States, are waiting for real and profound changes.”
The Iranian president accused the US and Israel of killing thousands of innocent people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. Referring to Israel directly, he said: “How can the crimes of the occupiers against defenseless women and children and destruction of their homes, farms, hospitals and schools be supported unconditionally by certain governments and at the same time the oppressed men and women be subjected to the heaviest economic blockade, which denies their basic needs: food, water and medicine, and leads to genocide?”
Shortly before Ahmadinejad’s speech US President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met on the sidelines of the UN session. Medvedev then repeated the new Russian position, which states that in principle “Russia’s position is clear: Sanctions rarely lead to productive results, but in some cases sanctions are inevitable.”
President Obama said that Iran been “violating too many of its international commitments.” He committed himself to negotiating with Iran on the issue, but said serious sanctions were a possibility if Iran failed to respond seriously.”
Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu addresses the session later Thursday in a speech expected to focus on Iran.