Iran’s president has accused the West of nuclear “intimidation” in a UN General Assembly address on Wednesday boycotted by the United States and Israel, the BBC reports. He told reporters later that Iran was ready for talks with the US. It was Mr Ahmadinejad’s eighth and final speech at a debate of the UN General Assembly before he steps down. “[The] arms race and intimidation by nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction by the hegemonic powers have become prevalent,” he told the 193-nation annual gathering. Continued threat by the uncivilised Zionists [Israel] to resort to military action is a clear example of this bitter reality,” Mr Ahmadinejad said. He said the world was in need of a new order and a fresh way of thinking, as “the existence of discrimination and monopoly in the UN is in no way acceptable”. At a news conference later, the Iranian leader said Tehran was ready for dialogue with the US, despite Washington’s use of sanctions “as revenge on the people”. And he said his country was not afraid of nuclear attacks against nuclear facilities – “Iran can neutralise” such attacks, he said. Iran will continue to face the full force of sanctions and scrutiny from this United Nations until it gives up its ambitions to spread a nuclear shadow across the world,” Mr Cameron said.
WikiLeaks founder slams Obama
The founder of WikiLeaks delivered an impassioned appeal Wednesday for the U.S. government to end its actions against him, his website and those who support it. “It is time for the United States to cease its persecution of WikiLeaks, to cease its persecution of our people and to cease its persecution of our alleged sources,” Julian Assange, said via satellite. Assange mocked Obama for defending free speech in the Arab world, pointing to his own experience as evidence that Obama has “done more to criminalize free speech than any other US president.” Assange was speaking from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has been holed up since June. Assange’s combative comments, plus statements made by Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino and his other allies at the event, suggested no solution is in sight to the diplomatic standoff surrounding the 41-year-old Australian. Assange’s lawyers and Ecuador’s government fear that could lead in turn to extradition to the United States, where they say he would face “inhumane” prison conditions and even the death penalty.
Moldova wants Russian troops out
In his speech Wednesday, the President of Moldova, Nicolae Timofti, highlighted the need to resolve issues stemming from the armed conflict which broke out in its Transnistrian region 20 years ago, UN News Centre informs. He noted that the perpetuation of the conflict undermines Moldova’s national security and territorial integrity, hampers economic development and divides society, keeps the population of the Transnistrian region in isolation, incites human rights violations and generates economic stagnation on the left bank of Nistru River on which the region is located and which also has Russian forces present. “The current political and economic trends show that preserving the status-quo is not a viable scenario anymore. All our international partners share the view that there is no alternative to a reunified Moldova,” he said. “The Moldovan leader stated that his country’s ultimate goal is to reintegrate itself within its internationally recognized borders as “a functional state with a clear European perspective,” with the Transnistrian region granted self-governance and a special status. “It is also important to reiterate that the Russian forces, that are still present on the territory of the Republic of Moldova without host-nation consent and in contradiction with constitutional framework and international commitments, should be finally withdrawn,” he added.
Palestinians lower their expectations
A year after launching the Palestinian Authority’s failed bid to win U.N. recognition as an independent state, president Mahmoud Abbas was expected yesterday to formally announce a less ambitious initiative. This time, the Palestinian Authority will seek non-member observer status, one step up from its current position as a permanent observer. Last year’s attempt to secure recognition of statehood stalled in the U.N. Security Council. The Palestinians say they are likely to submit the new resolution after the U.S. presidential election on November 6 in an effort to prevent the issue from becoming political fodder. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu was likely to focus in his speech yesterday more on the perceived threat from Iran than the lifeless peace process with the Palestinians.