Headlines: Ahmadinejad to UN: 'US Government Orchestrated' 9/11
23 Sep 2010 19:47
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U.S. Walks Out as Iran Leader Speaks
New York Times | Sept 23
The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, issued a series of incendiary comments in his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday afternoon, noting in particular that some people believe the United States orchestrated the Sept. 11 attacks as part of a propaganda campaign to "reverse the declining American economy" and to "save the Zionist regime," meaning Israel.
He also lambasted the world's nuclear powers for trying to halt Iran's own nuclear program.
Mr. Ahmadinejad framed his comments about Sept. 11 as an examination of opinions, an approach he has used in questioning the Holocaust, as well.
"In identifying those responsible behind the Sept. 11 attacks, there were three viewpoints," he said. "First, that a very powerful and complex terrorist group able to successfully cross all layers of the American intelligence and security carried out the attack. This is the prevalent viewpoint which has been supported mainly and advocated by American statesmen.
"Second: that some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order to save the Zionist regime. The majority of the American people, as well as most nations and politicians around the world agree with this view.
"Third: it was carried out by a terrorist group but that the American government supported and took advantage of the situation. Apparently, this viewpoint has fewer proponents."
US, Iranian Leaders Push Nuclear Talks
AFP | Sept 23
US President Barack Obama on Thursday echoed a call from Iran's leader for new negotiations to end the standoff over Tehran's nuclear program, but each side showed wariness of the other's intentions.
Under the world spotlight in New York, Obama told the UN General Assembly that the door to diplomacy with Iran remains open, four months after Washington obtained harsh new UN sanctions against Tehran.
But Obama said the Islamic Republic must show a credible commitment to dialogue on its nuclear program, which Washington fears masks a drive to build a nuclear weapon. Iran insists its aims are only peaceful.
His speech came as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was due to address the assembly shortly, argues it is Tehran, not the West, that is serious about reviving talks that lapsed as soon as they began last year.
Iran Drops Bid for Seat on UN Atomic Agency Board: Diplomats
AFP | Sept 23
Iran withdrew Thursday its bid for a seat on one of the key policy-making bodies of the UN atomic watchdog because it was unable to secure consensus backing for its candidacy, diplomats said.
According to the complicated allocation procedure, six regional groups are allotted a specific number of seats. And this year, two positions were open to the so-called MESA (Middle East and South Asia) group of which Iran is a member.
Diplomats said that Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Iran had all eyed a seat, but Tehran decided to drop out when it emerged that it would not be able to secure sufficient support.
The assembly subsequently approved the allocation of the two seats to Jordan and the UAE.