Iran calls for new world order not in service of 'devil'


UNITED NATIONS – Iran’s president said yesterday his country was under constant threat of military action from “uncivilised Zionists” and called for a new world order not dominated by western powers in the service of “the devil”.

In his eighth address to the UN general assembly’s annual gathering of world leaders, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad painted a gloomy picture of a world driven by greed rather than moral values.

“The current abysmal situation of the world and the bitter incidents of history are due mainly to the wrong management of the world and the self-proclaimed centres of power who have entrusted themselves to the devil,” Mr Ahmadinejad said, in what is expected to be his last address to the world body.

There was no reiteration of his comments to journalists in New York on Monday that Israel had no roots in the Middle East and would be “eliminated”. However, in a clear reference to Israel, he told the assembly: “Continued threat by the uncivilised Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example of this bitter reality.”

On Tuesday, in his address to the general assembly, US president Barack Obama warned Iran he would do what it took to prevent it from getting nuclear arms and said there was not an unlimited time to solve the crisis through diplomacy.

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is due to speak at the United Nations today, has hinted that Israel could strike Iran’s nuclear sites, and has criticised Mr Obama’s position that sanctions and diplomacy should be given more time to stop Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Without mentioning the US by name, Mr Ahmadinejad took aim at its global dominance, asking: “Are we to believe that those who spend hundreds of millions of dollars on election campaigns have the interest of the people of the world at their hearts?”

Representatives of the US, Canada and Israel chose not to be present in the UN auditorium for the speech, which coincided with Yom Kippur, one of the most important Jewish holidays.

European Union states did not walk out, apparently because Mr Ahmadinejad did not cross any of their “red lines”.

Mr Ahmadinejad, whose own second and final term in office ends next year, said authority should be used as a sacred gift, “not a chance to amass power and wealth”. Israel and the US have refused to rule out the possibility of an armed strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, which the West suspects aim to produce atomic bombs but which Tehran says are for solely peaceful purposes.

Iran is under sanctions imposed by the UN and western powers for its refusal to comply with UN Security Council demands to halt its nuclear enrichment programme.

Mr Ahmadinejad said the 15-nation council, on which the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China all have vetoes, was dominated by “a limited number of governments”, preventing the UN from acting in a just and equitable way.

He said he represented “a great and proud nation that was a founder of human civilisation”, and, “There is no doubt that the world is in need of a new order and a fresh way of thinking.” – (Reuters)