Mass walkout during Ahmadinejad UN speech

By Jessica Elgot, September 24, 2009

British, American and French diplomats led a walkout at the United Nations general assembly during a virulently anti-Jewish and anti-Israel speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Mr Ahmadinejad infuriated many delegates with claims of a 'Jewish conspiracy'.

He said: "It is no longer acceptable that a small minority would dominate the politics, economy and culture of major parts of the world by its complicated networks."

Jews were prepared to "establish a new form of slavery, and harm the reputation of other nations, even European nations and the US, to attain its racist ambitions."

He also told the assembly: “The awakening of nations and the expansion of freedom worldwide will no longer allow Israel to continue their hypocrisy and vicious attitudes. How can one imagine that the inhuman policies in Palestine may continue?

Britain, Argentina, Australia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand and the United States

Countries who walked out of Mr Ahmadinejad's speech

“How can crimes of the occupiers against defenceless women and children and destruction of their homes, farms, hospitals and schools be supported unconditionally by certain governments?”

Outrage at the speech may hasten US-led sanctions against Iran. Having secured Russian support, US President Barack Obama is set to seek Chinese co-operation with the West against Iran. French President Nicolas Sarkozy also urged the world to "get tough" with Iran.

Israel and Canada chose to boycott the speech entirely.

Israeli Premier Binyamin Netanyahu said he had not attended the session because he did not want to "sit in the same hall with the president of Iran, who has denied the murder of six million Jews and calls for the annihilation of six million more".

In a later TV interview, Mr Ahmadinejad refused to answer a question on Holocaust denial, asking: “What has this got to do with the Palestinians?”

Last updated: 12:27pm, June 7 2011