Israeli Envoy Walks Out on Iranian President’s Speech at UN

By Zalman Ahnsaf

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi addresses the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. Headquarters in New York City, U.S., September 21, 2022. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

YERUSHALAYIM — Ignoring an Israeli request to deny Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi a platform at the  United Nations General Assembly for his hate-filled rhetoric, he gave a speech at the annual gathering on Wednesday in which he attacked Israel and the West in familiar form.

“The region has not seen previously such an occupying savage power such as the Zionist regime in its midst in the past. The killing of children and women are present in the dark report card of the Zionist regime,” Raisi said.

Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan walked out of the chamber prior to Raisi’s speech. He left a picture of his Holocaust-survivor grandparents at the Israeli delegation’s seat to protest the Iranian president’s recent comments that cast doubt on the Holocaust.

“It is a new moral low for the U.N. A mass-murdering Holocaust-denier gets the podium at the U.N. to speak his hatred. Every ambassador that stays to hear him should be embarrassed,” Erdan said.

Raisi proposed a vote by all Palestinians, “Muslims, Christians and Jews” to establish a single state, and touted his country as the protector of all oppressed people in the region.

Approximately 3,000 Iranian dissidents protested against Raisi’s appearance outside the United Nations during his speech, as they have throughout the week.

Signs lined a plaza across from the U.N. calling for “Regime change by Iranians,” and hundreds of photos of executed political prisoners were displayed.

The crowd chanted “Prosecute Raisi now” as a marching band beat on drums.

One of the speakers at the demonstration said: “In the Jewish faith there is a saying ‘Next year we will gather in Jerusalem,’ I say next year we will gather together in a free Iran,” according to The Times of Israel.

In 2019, Raisi was sanctioned by the United States in part over his involvement in the mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988, a little over a decade after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. His role in the killings earned for him the soubriquet “butcher of Tehran.”

Addressing the issue of the attempts to revive the 2015 nuclear accord, he accused the  U.S. of having “trampled upon” it.

He decried sanctions imposed on Iran, calling them a “punishment on the people of Iran,” and criticized what he said was lopsided scrutiny of Iran’s nuclear activities while other nations’ nuclear programs remain secret, a reference to Israel.

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