President Mahmoud Ahmadinejads tale på FN-konferansen om rasisme og diskriminering, ble den rene PR-katastrofen for FN og generalsekretær Ban Ki-moon, som åpnet konferansen.

Ahmadinejad må ha visst at han hengte opp en rød klut da han begynte angrepene på Israel og også nevnte statens opprettelse.

Diplomatene satt klar. Da Ahmadinejad slo an disse tonene hadde de ikke noe valg: de marsjerte ut.

The hardline leader’s appearance overshadowed the substance of the weeklong United Nations attempt to stamp out intolerance worldwide. The United States and eight other Western countries, expressing concerns about its fairness, were already boycotting the event.

Protesters dressed with clown wigs and holding placards repeatedly interrupted Ahmadinejad’s speech with shouts of «Shame! shame!» and «Racist! racist!» throwing soft red objects on the podium. Later, about 100 members of mainly pro-Israel and Jewish groups blocked Ahmadinejad’s entrance to a scheduled news conference.

Ahmadinejad, in a rambling speech, accused Israel of being the «most cruel and racist regime» and pointed the finger at the United States and Europe for helping to establish the country after World War II «under the pretext of Jewish suffering.»

That prompted a walkout by some 40 diplomats from European countries such as Britain and France, which had threatened to leave the conference if it descended into anti-Semitic or other rhetoric harshly critical of Israel, which marred the U.N.’s last racism gathering.

The boycotting countries expressed concern that Muslim countries would drown out many issues with calls for a denunciation of Israel and a global ban on criticizing aspects of the Islamic faith.

«As soon as he started to address the question of the Jewish people and Israel, we had no reason to stay in the room,» said French Ambassador Jean-Baptiste Mattei.

Speaking directly after Ahmadinejad, Norway’s foreign minister said the Iranian leader’s comments «run counter to the very spirit of dignity of the conference.»

Ahmadinejad «has made Iran the odd man out,» Jonas Gahr Store said.

Even before his speech, Ahmadinejad polarized the meeting, which is intended to examine all forms of intolerance around the world.

Det var meget spesielt og dristig av Gahr Støre å bli sittende da alle de andre marsjerte ut. Var hans ord kraftige nok til å rettferdiggjøre det? APs sitat er ikke spesielt kraftig.

Iran’s leader sparks Western walkout at UN meeting