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Presidents Conference: Walk out on Ahmadinejad at U.N.

(JTA) — A major Jewish umbrella organization has called on member states of the United Nations to walk out on a speech by Iran’s president.

Anticipating that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad again will seek to address the General Assembly this year, leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations issued a statement asking delegates to leave should Ahmadinejad be allowed to speak before the international body.

The 65th session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York starts Sept. 14.

“It is imperative for nations to cherish the values of freedom and mutual respect and absent themselves or walk out if President Ahmadinejad speaks before the U.N. General Assembly," Presidents Conference Chairman Alan Solow and Executive Vice Chair Malcolm Hoenlein said in the statement. "We are issuing the call well in advance of the UNGA opening session so that nations have a chance to  deliberate and ample time to make a decision.

"President Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric has only become more extreme as have the violations of human rights under his government. Optimally, we would like to see Mr. Ahmadinejad denied the opportunity to speak at the UN as he violates its charter by threatening and calling for the elimination of another member state."

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