Ahmadinejad Addresses United Nations General Assembly
U.S. House, California Toughen Sanctions Against Iran
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, delivered an address Tuesday to the United Nations 62nd General Assembly. The Iranian president began speaking at 4:56 p.m. EST (8:56 p.m. GMT); his speech lasted 38 minutes.
Click here for Ahmadinejad’s U.N. transcript.
On Monday, Ahmadinejad spoke by videoconference from New York to journalists who packed a ballroom at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. followed by an address to students and faculty at Columbia University in New York. During his Columbia talk, when asked why homosexuals in Iran are executed, Ahmadinejad told the crowd, „In
Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country.We don’t have that in our country. In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon. I don’t know who’s told you that we have it.“
Click here for Ahmadinejad’s National Press Club transcript
Click here for Ahmadinejad’s Columbia University transcript
On Tuesday, some heads of state spoke in their addresses to the U.N. General Assembly about the danger of Iran and its nuclear ambitions. Said French President Nicolas Sarkozy, „There will be no peace in the world if the international community falters in the face of nuclear arms proliferation. Obviously, I am thinking here of the Iranian question. Iran is entitled to nuclear power for civilian purposes. But if we allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, we would an incur an unacceptable risk to stability in the region and in the world.“
A recent poll showed that the majority of Americans oppose investing in companies that are helping Iran. Also, legislation backing sanctions against Iran has begun to take root both on state and federal levels; on Tuesday (Sept. 25), the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 1400, the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007, which tightens sanctions against Iran. „Iran faces a choice between a very big carrot and a very sharp stick,“ said Rep. Tom Lantos, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who introduced the bill in March. „It is my hope that they will take the carrot. But today, we are putting the stick in place.“ 
Also on Tuesday, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he would sign a bill banning the state’s two largest pension funds from investing in companies with business operations in Iran. „California has a long history of leadership and doing what’s right with our investment portfolio,“ Gov. Schwarzenegger said in a statement. „Last year, I was proud to sign legislation to divest from the Sudan to take a powerful stand against genocide. I look forward to signing legislation to divest from Iran to take an equally powerful stand against terrorism.“ Such measures already are in place in Missouri, Florida and Louisiana.
Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, founder and president of The Israel Project, underscored the importance of gaining greater global momentum for U.N. sanctions and state divestment movements as a non-violent means to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. „Now is the time for the United Nations and the world to put strong economic pressure on Iran,“ Mizrahi said. „We need to use the power of the purse for peace.“
For more information about divestment legislation and efforts to keep U.S. investments out of Iran, please see Terror-Free Investing Resources.
Israeli Foreign Minister and Vice Prime Minister Tzipi Livni is scheduled to address the General Assembly at 10 a.m. EST (2 p.m. GMT) on Monday, Oct. 1. Click here for the full schedule of speakers. On Monday (Sept. 24), Livni who is heading Israel’s U.N. delegation to the General Assembly, addressed the U.N.’s Ad Hoc Liaison Committee of Donor States. Click here for her speech and here for Livni’s address to the United Nations‘ largest meeting ever of world leaders on climate change: „The Future in Our Hands: Addressing the Leadership Challenge of Climate Change.“ Click here for Israel’s General Assembly agenda.
For experts available for interviews and more information about Iran and President Ahmadinejad, please see:
Iran Press Kit