Ahmadinejad blasts ‘Zionist regime,’ U.S and other countries walk out

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blasted Israel and the United States and said a "small minority" cannot be allowed to "dominate" the world in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly.

Referring to Israel only as the "Zionist regime," Ahmadinejad said that "inhuman policies in Palestine" had forced "the entire population of a country out of their homeland for more than 60 years,"  while "much to the chagrin of the international community, calling the occupiers as the peacelovers, and portraying the victims as terrorists."

He also charged that Israel had committed "genocide" and that the international community "is impatiently waiting for the punishment of the aggressors and the murderers of the defenseless people of Gaza."

He added, in an apparent reference to Jews, "It is no longer acceptable that a small minority would dominate the politics, economy and culture of major parts of the world by its complicated networks, and establish a new form of slavery, and harm the reputation of other nations, even European nations and the U.S., to attain its racist ambitions."

The Iranian president also criticized the United States, also not by name, saying that it is "not acceptable that some who are several thousands of kilometers away from the Middle East would send their troops for military intervention and for spreading war, bloodshed, aggression, terror and intimidation in the whole region."

Ahmadinejad did not speak of Iran’s nuclear program, but did say that he supported the "elimination of all nuclear, chemical and biological weapons."

He also called his June re-election as president "glorious" and "fully democratic," and said he had been trusted with a "large majority." The election has widely been seen as illegitimate, and those opposed to Iran’s rulers continue to protest its results.

Media reports said more than half of the seats in the General Assembly may have been vacant by the end of the speech as a result of diplomats walking out of the speech in protest. Among those walking out was the delegation from the United States, which called Ahamdinejad’s remarks " hateful, offensive and anti-Semitic rhetoric.”

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