Canada’s delegation walked out of the United Nations General Assembly Wednesday before Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began his speech to the world body.
Canadian diplomats also walked out of the Iranian leader’s speech to the General Assembly last year.
Rick Roth, press secretary to Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, said Wednesday that Canadians “will not sit silently in our chairs and listen to Iran’s hateful, anti-Western, anti-Semitic views.
“If anything, today’s address only reinforces our decision earlier this month to suspend diplomatic relations with Iran.”
Tensions between the two countries are high after Canada decided to close the embassy in Iran and expel Iranian diplomats from Ottawa earlier this month.
Also Wednesday, the Islamic Republic News Agency published a statement from Iran’s Foreign Ministry encouraging Iranians to stay away from Canada. The statement attacked Canada for “Islamophobia,” “Iranophobia,” and having a “double-standard” toward human rights.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has decided not to speak at the General Assembly’s fall session opening. Instead, Baird will give a speech next week.
Ahmadinejad’s speech followed days of diplomatic meetings and interviews in New York for the Iranian leader ahead of his address to the world body.
Wednesday’s speech was likely to be his last to the General Assembly, as he is in the midst of his final year in office.
Ahmadinejad is known for ugly denunciations of Israel and the United States, and once again he chose to denounce what he called a “continued threat by the uncivilized Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation.”
He also blamed a “world Zionist conspiracy” that prevents the media from reporting “the truth.”
But he then spent much time promoting a new world order, as envisioned by him.
Ahmadinejad said 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.”
He blamed materialism, selfishness and imperialism for the world’s suffering, and called for a “an order that is founded upon trust and kindness and brings thoughts, hearts and hands closer to each other.”
He added: “Rulers must love people.”
But he also took shots at western nations, who he blamed for “the present oppressive international order.”
He said the world’s “current abysmal situation” and sad 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.”