September 26, 2012
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has leveled harsh criticism against the U.N. Security Council, saying it is “under the domination” of a few governments.
In a speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, he said an existence of discrimination in the world body was a “great insult to all.”
He also said the veto rights of some nations and what he called a “monopolization” of power had made it impossible for the Security Council to defend the rights of nations.
Iran is under U.N. sanctions for its controversial nuclear program. World powers suspect Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons but Tehran says its nuclear goals are peaceful.
Ahmadinejad’s speech comes a day after U.S. President Barack Obama, in an address to the General Assembly, restated warnings that the United States and its allies would not allow Tehran to develop a nuclear weapon. Obama added that time was running out to reach a diplomatic solution.
The U.S. delegation boycotted Ahmadinejad’s speech, his last address to the General Assembly as Iran’s president.
Ahmadinejad’s second presidential term ends next June. Under Iranian law, he cannot run for a third term.
Turmoil in the Middle East will continue to be the major focus of the U.N. General Assembly Wednesday, as Egypt’s newly elected president, Mohamed Morsi, delivers his first speech to the global body.
Syria’s conflict has also been at the forefront of this week’s speeches.
Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi said Wednesday that Syria’s only option is to agree on an initiative for a peaceful change and a transfer of power through elections.
Separately, Arab League chief Nabil El-Araby said he “pitied” his colleague Lakhdar Brahimi because the U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria faces an “impossible job.” In a Wednesday news conference at the U.N., El-Araby said he hoped the Security Council could reach an agreement on how to move ahead on Syria.
On Tuesday, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon opened the General Assembly by calling the unrest in Syria “a regional calamity with global ramifications.” He accused both the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and the opposition of crimes against humanity.
Also Tuesday, Obama renewed calls for an end to Assad’s regime. He said Syria’s future must not belong to a dictator who massacres his people.
This article first appeared on VOA News.