UNITED NATIONS – Iran’s president addressed the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, declaring that “the American empire” is nearing collapse and should end its military involvement in other countries.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said terrorism is spreading quickly in Afghanistan and that “the occupiers” are still in Iraq nearly six years after Saddam Hussein’s ouster.
“American empire in the world is reaching the end of its road, and its next rulers must limit their interference to their own borders,” Ahmadinejad said.
He accused the U.S. of starting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to win votes in elections and blamed a “few bullying powers” for trying to undermine Iraq’s nuclear program.
Ahmadinejad’s hardline rhetoric came as no surprise and offered little in the way of compromise at the U.N., where he faces a new round of sanctions if no agreement is reached on limiting Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
He reiterated that the country’s nuclear program is purely peaceful, but the U.S. and others fear it is aimed at producing enriched uranium to make nuclear weapons.
Iran already is under three sets of sanctions by the U.N. Security Council for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment. Washington and its Western allies are pushing for quick passage of a fourth set of sanctions to underline the international community’s resolve, but are likely to face opposition from Russia.
Ahmadinejad also lashed out at Israel on Tuesday, saying “the Zionist regime is on a definite slope to collapse, and there is no way for it to get out of the cesspool created by itself and its supporters.”
Ahmadinejad accused “a small but deceitful number of people called Zionists ... (of) dominating an important portion of the financial and monetary centers as well as the political decision-making centers of some European countries and the U.S.”