From the Washington Post:
The U.S. delegation walked out of the U.N. speech of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday after he said some in the world have speculated that Americans were behind the Sept. 11 terror attacks, staged in an attempt to assure Israel’s survival.
He did not explain the logic of that statement that was made as he attacked the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ahmadinejad has called for the destruction of Israel and is deeply at odds with the United States and European allies over its nuclear program and suspicions that it is designed to produce an atomic bomb. Iran says it is only working on technology for electricity generation.
The U.S. delegation left the hall after Ahmadinejad said there were three theories about the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks:
- That “powerful and complex terrorist group” penetrated U.S. intelligence and defenses.
- “That some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order also to save the Zionist regime. The majority of the American people as well as other nations and politicians agree with this view.”
- The Americans stood and walked out without listening to the third theory, that the attack was the work of “a terrorist group but the American government supported and took advantage of the situation.”
Mark Kornblau, spokesman of the U.S. Mission to the world body, issued a statement within moments of Ahmadinejad’s attack.
“Rather than representing the aspirations and goodwill of the Iranian people,” he said, “Mr. Ahmadinejad has yet again chosen to spout vile conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic slurs that are as abhorrent and delusional as they are predictable.”
Ahmadinejad, who has in the past cast doubt over the U.S. version of the Sept. 11 attacks, called for establishment of an independent fact-finding U.N. body to probe the attacks and stop it from turning into another sacred issue where “expressing opinion about it won’t be banned”.
Read more here.
From Al Jazeera:
PJ Crowley, the US assistant secretary of state, told Al Jazeera the statement was “totally outrageous”.
“[Those killed in the attacks] were people of all faiths, all nationalities. They were killed by 19 people, a plot perpetrated by al-Qaeda,” he said.
“We know who did it and they have admitted who did it. This idea that nine years later there is still some debate about who did it and why is outrageous.”
About 3,000 people died when hijackers crashed planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and a fourth aircraft plummeted into a Pennsylvania field in 2001.
Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst, said: “[Ahmadinejad's] attack on the traditional version of the 9/11 story was similar to his attack on the traditional version of the holocaust.
“So you can now say President Ahmadinejad is both a 9/11 denier and a holocaust denier.
Read more here.
And from Foreign Policy Passport:
Just from the press highlights, readers might get the impression that Ahmadinejad’s U.N. speeches are anti-American barn-burners, similar to classics by Hugo Chavez or Daniel Ortega. But the truth is they’re much stranger than that. Ahmadinejad tends to set up his political arguments with extensive discourses on theology and moral philosophy. The corrosive influence of materialism on human society is a theme that he seems to return to each year. Here’s this a sample from this year:
Nimrod countered Hazrat Abraham, Pharaoh countered Hazrat Moses and the greedy countered Hazrat Jesus Christ and Hazrat Mohammad (Peace be upon them all). In the recent centuries, the human ethics and values have been rejected as a cause for backwardness. They were even portrayed as opposin wisdom and science because of the earlier infliction on man by the proclaimers of religion in the dark ages of the West.
Man’s disconnection from Heaven detached him from his true self. Man with his potentials for understanding the secrets of the universe, his instinct for seeking truth, his aspirations for justice and perfection, his quest for beauty and purity and his capacity to represent God on earth was reduced to a creaturelimited to the materialistic world with a mission to maximize individualitic pleasures. Human instinct, then, replaced true human nature.
Human beings and nations were considered rivals and the happiness of an individual or a nation was defined collision with, and elimination or suppression of others. Constructive evolutionary cooperation was replaced with a destructive struggle for survival.
The lust for capital and domination replaced monotheism, which is the gate to love and unity. This widepread clash of the egoist with the divine values gave way to slavery and colonialism.
There really isn’t any other world leader who speaks this way on the international stage. Most Western analysts tend to gloss over the religious/philosophical portions, which seems like an oversight given the emphasis he puts on them.
Read more here.