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Are the United States and Israel threatening Iran?

Speaking on Yom Kippur, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that his country is under threat from 'uncivilized Zionists' and called for an end to the 'present oppressive world order.'

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during the 67th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, Wednesday.

Mike Segar/Reuters

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Iran is under threat of military action from "uncivilized Zionists," a clear reference to Israel, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday, saying that such threats from big powers are designed to force nations into submission.

"Continued threat by the uncivilized Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example of this bitter reality," Ahmadinejad said in a 33-minute speech before the U.N. General Assembly.

Israel and the United States have refused to rule out the possibility of an armed strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, which the West suspects are intended to produce nuclear weapons bombs but which Tehran says are for solely peaceful purposes.

Taking place on the Jewish day of atonement Yom Kippur, one of the holiest days on the Jewish calendar, it was the Iranian president's eighth appearance before the 193-nation assembly and his last before his second and final term ends next year.

His speech touched on issues he has raised in previous U.N. appearances, such as suggesting there should be an "independent fact-finding team" established to discover the "truth" behind the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and complaining about the "hegemonic policies and actions of world Zionism."


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