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US, Ireland walk out as Iran delivers UN speech

US delegates leave chambers after President Ahmadinejad refers to 9/11 attacks as a “mystery”.

ranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during the 66th session of the General Assembly at United Nations headquarters.
ranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during the 66th session of the General Assembly at United Nations headquarters.
Image: Seth Wenig/AP/Press Association Images

Updated 20.19

DELEGATES FROM THE US and Ireland walked out of the UN General Assembly today as Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered a speech.

The fiercely anti-American speech prompted a walk-out of at least 12 delegates.

Ahmadinejad attacked the US for its history of slavery, causing two world wars and using a nuclear bomb against defenceless people. It also slated the country for supporting military dictatorships and totalitarian regimes in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Reuters reports that the Iranian President referred to the September 11, 2001 attacks as a “pretext” for US attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan.

He also said the events of that day were “mysterious” according to Sky News reporters on Twitter.

At this point US diplomats left the chamber, quickly followed by some of their European counterparts. CNN reports that delegations from Germany, the UK,  Ireland and France all left.

Mark Kornblau, a spokesman for the US mission, said 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.”

Canadian delegates had left the room before the speech started, says Reuters.

-Additional reporting by AP

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