Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ahmadinejad Speech Sparks Criticism

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Geneva Conference
Monday 20 April . YouTube

President Ahmadinejad's reference to Israel as a racist state at the UN anti-racism conference in Geneva on Monday sparked a walkout by EU delegates and today UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon criticized Ahmadinejad for "misusing" the conference.

Iran criticised Mr. Ban's comments as "one-sided."

The UN said today that Mr. Ahmadinejad had dropped language from his speech describing the Holocaust as "ambiguous and dubious" [BBC, 21 April]. He spoke instead of "the abuse of the question of the Holocaust."


Kalash said...

There was nothing wrong with his speech. The truth hurts...
It's also worth noting that with one insignificant exception, all those who walked out were representatives of European nations...
Ahmadinejad may be a little bit coo-coo (and hypocritical at times), but when it comes to the state of Israel he speaks the truth. It is founded on racism and terror, pure and simple.

Can you provide more info on the changes to the speech?

Anonymous said...

We love AhmadiNejad. He is the voice of not only the iranians but of the muslim world! Shame on all those other Muslim country leaders who go silent to the racist crimes of Israel!
today Israel is no different than the Apartheid of South Africa 30 years ago!

Anonymous said...

It was a brilliant anti-imperialist speech addressing the blatant racism, hypocrisy and arrogance of the UNSC and of western colonialism, which is why he received a standing ovation and raptous applause from the floor while the the EU colonials were jeered for their phoney walkout. It’s why he is the toast of the NAM and the Middle East.

The crux of his message was that the P5’s veto rights obviously discriminate against those nations without them, and that this discrimination has led to the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and the supplanting of Palestine with the Judeo-fascist and apartheid state of Israel. Incidentally the Palestinian people elected a Hamas government, which appreciates his speech.

Ban Ki Moon is a glorified tea boy of a notoriously racist organisation, that has been justifying war, genocide, ethnic-cleansing, colonialism and xenophobia around the globe ever since it’s inception.

If you care about the Palestinian cause or about racism in general, you would applaud Ahmadinejad’s statement, even if you dislike him. Obama has never come out with a statement as profound.

Anonymous said...

I think it's important to mark the difference in the international situation since Ahmadinejad came to power. Back then there was always an automatic hostile response to Iran any time it failed to comply with Western dictates. Now, Iran is free to speak it's mind and pursue both whatever foreign or domestic policies it chooses, and the only reaction out of the Whitehouse is reaffirmation of a commitment to dialogue. Ahmadinejad left from giving this address straight to holding a private meeting with Swiss President, whose country is the official intermediaries between the Iran and the US, and who did not boycott the Ahmadinejad's speech or participate in the European stunts. Ahmadinejad seems to be proposing to trade the release of the Saberi for that of two Iranian diplomats who were kidnapped from a consulate in norther Iraq and are still in American custody. It's unclear whether Obama wants to or can take him up on the offer, but it is the beginings of a dialogue.

The Irony that it was the countries with the most disgusting histories of colonialism and racism and now have the largest problems with xenophobia against Muslims and Africans in particular who walked out on Ahmadinejad's address on racism, and the countries who have been the victims of this phenomenon who stayed and applauded may be lost on a Western audience but it won't be on much of the world. Obama seems to have understood this and decided at the last moment to stay away so as not to be pressured into participating in these actions as he seeks to rebuild relations with the Third World.

One point that is rarely addressed is the possible motivations behind France's organization of these stunts. It seems that Europe, is worried about being mussled out of the Middle East, and is scared of the power it might lose if a direct dialogue between Iran and the US were to open up. So while this stunt is bound to effect western public opinion, the usual talk of sanction and legal action has been dropped from the get-go, so that things don't get out of hand. As contradictory as it may seem, the events of the past days might ultimately lay the basis for stronger EU-Iran relations as well.

When dealing with the west, it's almost always the case the peace comes through strength, and not the other way around. I hope that Ahmadinjad's successor understands that as well he does.


Nader Uskowi said...

Dear Anon,

I believe Ahmadinejad’s “brilliant” speech was actually handing Israel a gift. When the international community and the Obama administration were calling for a new beginning in relations with Iran, Ahmadinejad’s comments played into Netanyahu’s hands to question the merits of any new beginning with Iran. Ahmadinejad’s “brilliant” speeches are becoming a constant source of isolation for Iran. Let’s hope in the upcoming presidential elections in Iran, the people elect someone with more managerial skills and less inflammatory speech skills to handle the enormous economic, political and foreign policy challenges facing the country in the coming years.

Nader Uskowi said...

Masoud jan,

Thanks for your thought-provoking analysis, as always.

I agree that peace comes from strength. There is a fine line, however, separating a country’s move from the position of strength and leadership’s lack of appreciation and understanding of a changing world.

Ahmadinejad can not act in a way that nothing has changed post Obama. Iran will be the looser if we continue its old ways with no regards or respect to a changing political landscape.