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U.S. was behind 9/11 attacks, Ahmadinejad tells U.N.

(JTA) — The United States arranged the 9/11 attacks "to save the Zionist regime," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the U.N. General Assembly.

After suggesting in his Sept. 23 address that U.S. officials at the highest levels were complicit in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, he called on the United Nations to establish "an independent fact-finding group" to investigate the attacks.

The U.S. delegation walked out of Ahmadinejad’s speech, as did all 27 European Union delegations, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Costa Rica, according to reports.

“President Ahmadinejad today outdid his usual odious hyperbole,” said the executive director of the American Jewish Committee, David Harris. “Before the entire world, a man whose title is ‘president’ only because he stole an election and brutalized his people confirmed that he is a leading 9/11 conspiracy nut. Astonishingly, he did so from the U.N. podium, located not far from the site of the Islamist terror attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center twin towers, killing nearly 3,000, nine years ago.”

As is his custom, the Iranian president also used his annual speech at the General Assembly to lash out against Israel.

"This regime," he said of Israel, "which enjoys the absolute support of some Western countries, regularly threatens the countries in the region and continues publicly announced assassinations of Palestinian figures and others, while Palestinian defenders are labeled as terrorists and anti-Semites.

"All values, even the freedom of expression in Europe and the United States, are being sacrificed at the altar of Zionism."

In a response to Ahmadinejad’s speech, the U.S. mission to the United Nations said in a statement, “Rather than representing the aspirations and goodwill of the Iranian people, 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.” 

In an interview the night before his U.N. address on CNN’s "Larry King Live," Ahmadinejad called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "skilled killer." 

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