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Iran's Ahmadinejad touts 'new world order' not led by 'arrogant' powers

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Saying Ahmadinejad had been “spouting … repulsive slurs against Israel,” the US Mission to the UN said in a statement that “it's particularly unfortunate that Mr. Ahmadinejad will have the platform of the UN General Assembly on Yom Kippur, which is why the United States has decided not to attend.”

The theme of a “new world order” is not a new one for Ahmadinejad, but it was the first time he dedicated his UN speech to it. He said “Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus” and other religions and cultures could live in harmony and peace if it weren’t for the “arrogance and hegemony of the ruling minority [and its] oppressive international order.”

Those words did nothing to sway international human rights activists, who have used the occasion of Ahmadinejad's New York visit to register alarm over human rights in Iran.

“President Ahmadinejad's mix of attacks against 'Zionists' and 'hegemonic' powers for their rights abuses fails to distract from Iran’s own appalling rights record," says Philippe Bolopion, UN director for Human Rights Watch in New York. Singling out recent setbacks for women in Iran, Mr. Bolopion calls Ahmadinejad's "celebration" of the “spring of all the justice-seekers” in Arab countries particularly "perplexing ... in light of his government's support for the Syrian government’s bloody crackdown.”

Ahmadinejad did not address Iran’s nuclear program, nor international concerns – expressed by the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency, as well as the Security Council and Western powers – that the program has Iran on a path to building a nuclear weapon. Iran insists its program is for peaceful purposes only.

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