On the eve of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s address to the United Nations, the controversial leader declared his country to be "a new model for life to the world," and warned of the United States high jacking the Arab Spring uprisings. Thus, the Iranian leaders comments on the state of the world and the West at the United Nations Thursday came as no surprise to many onlookers.
In Thursday's address to the United Nations General Assembly, the Iranian leader blamed the United States, Israel, and Europe for the global economic recession and insisted that some of the most prevalent global ills, such as poverty and denial of basic rights, are a result of "greed for materialism in the United States and Europe."
He also expressed skepticism on the killing of Osama bin Laden earlier this year, arguing against the sudden killing of bin Laden without hiring a fact-finding team to investigate "hidden elements involved in September 11."
In prior years, countries such as the United States, Australia, and Canada have been present for Ahmadinejad's annual speech but have walked out when the Iranian leader began with statements that were anti-Western and anti-Israel.
This year, the representatives for Canada and Israel boycotted Ahmadinejad's speech altogether and were not alone in their action, as man heads of state walked out of the General Assembly hall during his speech.
Delegates began to leave when Ahmadinejad began to discuss the Holocaust and 9/11, topics the Iranian leader has addressed in previous statements that have stirred a lot of controversy.
In a 2010 U.N. address, Ahmadinejad suggested that the United States orchestrated the 9/11 attacks so as to insure the survival of Israel.
In 2009, Ahmadinejad suggested that the Holocaust did not happen, but rather was only believed by those who wanted to create a pretext for occupying Palestinian lands.
In 2006, Ahmadinejad questioned America's nuclear arsenal saying, "What (does the U.S.) need these weapons for? Is the development and stockpiling of these deadly weapons designed to promote peace and democracy?"
In today;s address, Ahmadinejad built upon his 2006, sentiments arguing that if the U.S. and its allies in NATO cut half of their military expenditures, perhaps Western countries would not be witnessing the economic calamity that is pervasive across the Western world.
Ahmadinejad continued by asking, "What is the justification for the presence of hundreds of U.S. military and intelligence bases in different parts of the world."
He went on to list the locations and numbers of military bases and asked, "Does this mean anything other than military occupation?"