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Iran's Ahmadinejad touts 'new world order' not led by 'arrogant' powers

President Ahmadinejad of Iran, speaking at the United Nations, criticized the existing model as unfair, militaristic, and the reason 'uncivilized Zionists' are threatening his country. He did not address the reason for those tensions – Iran's nuclear program.

By Staff writer / September 26, 2012

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of Iran, addresses the UN General Assembly in New York, Wednesday, Sept. 26.

Jason DeCrow/AP

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United Nations, N.Y.

Despite the clock ticking down to military action against his country, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad largely ignored current events in his United Nations speech Wednesday and chose instead to call for a “new world order” free of the domination of the ruling big powers.

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In what was the controversial leader’s eighth and last UN speech as Iranian president, Mr. Ahmadinejad laid the world’s misery at the feet of the “arrogant” few powers who rule from the UN Security Council, and offered the Non-Aligned Movement, which groups more than 120 developing countries, as a better model for governing the world.

Iran holds elections in June, and Ahmadinejad is barred by the Constitution from seeking a third term.

Ahmadinejad did refer once to Israel and to the international crisis over Iran’s advancing nuclear program, saying the unfair and militaristic global system is what led to “the uncivilized Zionists threatening military action against our great country.”

In years past, the Iranian leader’s provocative pronouncements – denying Israel’s right to exist, doubting that Islamist terrorists carried out the 9/11 attacks – have prompted walkouts by delegations as he spoke. This year Ahmadinejad stood before a hall about three-quarters full, with the Canadian delegation one of the few to walk out.

The US announced beforehand that it would not attend the speech in protest of comments Ahmadinejad made earlier in New York rejecting Israel’s legitimacy, and because the speech fell on a Jewish holiday.

Saying Ahmadinejad had been “spouting … repulsive slurs against Israel,” the US Mission to the UN said in a statement that “it's particularly unfortunate that Mr. Ahmadinejad will have the platform of the UN General Assembly on Yom Kippur, which is why the United States has decided not to attend.”

The theme of a “new world order” is not a new one for Ahmadinejad, but it was the first time he dedicated his UN speech to it. He said “Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus” and other religions and cultures could live in harmony and peace if it weren’t for the “arrogance and hegemony of the ruling minority [and its] oppressive international order.”

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