UNITED NATIONS — Iran’s president said on Wednesday his country was under constant threat of military action from “uncivilized Zionists” and called for a new world order not dominated by Western powers in the service of “the
In his eighth and likely final address to the U.N. General Assembly’s annual gathering of world leaders, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad painted a gloomy picture of a world driven by greed rather than morality.
“The current abysmal situation of the world and the bitter incidents of history are due mainly to the wrong management of the world and the self-proclaimed centers of power who have entrusted themselves to the devil,” Ahmadinejad said.
Iran’s president did not reiterate his comments to journalists in New York on Monday that Israel has no roots in the Middle East and would be “eliminated.”
However, he complained that nations were being forced to accept a new era of hegemony and added, in a clear reference to Israel: “Continued threat by the uncivilized Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example of this bitter reality.”
On Tuesday, in his address to the General Assembly, U.S. President Barack Obama said he would do whatever it takes to prevent Iran from getting nuclear arms, adding that there is not an unlimited amount of time to solve the matter via diplomacy.
Israel and the United States both have refused to rule out the possibility of an armed strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, which the West suspects aim to produce atomic bombs but which Tehran says are for solely peaceful purposes.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is due to speak at the United Nations on Thursday, has criticized Obama’s position that sanctions and diplomacy should be given more time to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
He has called for Obama to spell out “red lines” that, if crossed by Iran, would trigger an attack, something the White House has so far rejected.
U.N. diplomats and nuclear experts say Iran appears to be making headway in building a research reactor that could yield potential nuclear weapons material, adding to growing Western concerns about Tehran’s atomic aims.
On Wednesday, Netanyahu promised a tough response at the United Nations to Ahmadinejad’s verbal attacks, which coincided with Yom Kippur, one of the most important holidays in the Jewish calendar.
“We are all united in the goal of preventing Iran from achieving nuclear weaponry,” he said in open letter to Israelis before boarding a flight to New York.
“On Yom Kippur eve, sacred to the Jewish people, the Iranian tyrant chose to call publicly before all of the world for us to vanish. This is a black day for those who chose to remain in the auditorium and hear these hateful words,” Netanyahu added.
Representatives of the United States, Canada and Israel chose not to be present in the U.N. auditorium for Ahmadinejad’s speech on Wednesday.