WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. delegation walked out during the U.N. address of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, calling its anti-Semitism "abhorrent."
"Mr. Ahmadinejad had a chance to address his own people’s aspirations for freedom and dignity, but instead he again turned to abhorrent anti-Semitic slurs and despicable conspiracy theories," said a statement from the U.S. delegation about Thursday’s speech before the General Assembly.
Ahmadinejad accused a shadowy Western conspiracy of being behind the slave trade, both world wars, economic disparity and godlessness.
"They threaten anyone who questions the Holocaust and Sept. 11 with sanctions and military action," said the Iranian leader, who has denied the Holocaust and hinted at a U.S. conspiracy behind the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
Iran has faced sanctions because of the government’s refusal to make transparent its nuclear program.
Across the street from the United Nations, thousands of Iranian-Americans protested Ahmadinejad’s presence in the United Nations at a pro-democracy rally describing him as the unlawful representative of the Iranian people.