Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave what is likely to be his last speech to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, as his second final term as leader winds down. Observers couldn’t have been blamed for expecting a fire-and-brimstone parting shot to the world body, given his past anti-Semitic and anti-western rants. But Wednesday’s speech also showed one of the world’s most hated men to have a kinder, gentler side…relatively speaking. (Though he still got in plenty of shots.)
Here, then, are some highlights, and bizarre-lights, from Ahmadinejad’s speech:
- Ahmadinejad says his nation, “Has a global vision and welcomes any effort intended to provide and promote peace, stability and tranquility, which can be only realized through harmony, co-operation and joint management of the world.”
- “Despite all efforts made by righteous people and justice seekers, and the sufferings and pains endured by masses of people in the quest to achieve happiness and victory, the history of mankind, except in rare cases, is marked with unfulfilled dreams and failures."
- "The environment as a common wealth and heritage of the entire humankind and a constant guarantor of man's survival has been seriously damaged and devastated as a result of irresponsible and excessive use of resources particularly by capitalists across the world, a situation that has caused massive drought, flood, and pollutions inflicting irreparable damage and jeopardizing seriously human life on Earth."
- After wondering what the world would be like if the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War and Sept. 11, among other calamities, had not happened, he said: “And if tens of other unfavourable situations had not occurred in human life, imagine how beautiful and pleasant our lives and how lovely the history of mankind would have been."
- “Woman's sublime role and personality, as a heavenly being, a manifestation of divine image and beauty, and the main pillar of every society, has been damaged and abused by the powerful and the wealthy."
- “Human soul has become frustrated and the essence of humankind humiliated and suppressed."
- “I do not believe that Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and others have any problems, or are hostile against each other. They get along together comfortably and live together in an atmosphere of peace and amity. They are all devoted to the cause of justice, purity and love."
- “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.”
- “Are we to believe that those who spend hundreds of millions of dollars on election campaigns have the interests of the people of the world at their hearts?"
- Ahmadinejad called for man to be recognized as “God’s Supreme Creature,” which would lead to, “An order that is founded upon trust and kindness and brings thoughts, hearts and hands closer to each other. Rulers must love people.”
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