US to boycott Iran leader's speech at UN summit
The United States on Wednesday slammed "repulsive slurs" against Israel by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and said it would boycott his speech at the UN General Assembly.
Ahmadinejad, whose country faces growing pressure over its nuclear programme, is one of the most high-profile speakers at the UN summit today. He has made a series of comments attacking Israel and the West while in New York.
"Over the past couple of days, we've seen Mr Ahmadinejad once again use his trip to the UN not to address the legitimate aspirations of the Iranian people but to instead spout paranoid theories and repulsive slurs against Israel," said Erin Pelton, spokeswoman of the US mission to the United Nations,
"It's particularly unfortunate that Mr Ahmadinejad will have the platform of the UN General Assembly on Yom Kippur, which is why the United States has decided not to attend," Pelton added.
The United States, Israel and other western nations have regularly staged protest walkouts during Ahmadinejad's previous speeches at the United Nations.
This will be Ahmadinejad's last appearance at the UN General Assembly as he is scheduled to stand down next year at the end of his second term as president.