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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

United Nations

Jonathan Wachtel

New York Bureau

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Ahmadinejad Already Talking Tough

September 20, 2010 - 4:28 PM | by: Jonathan Wachtel

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to address the United National General Assembly Debate on Thursday, but he is already talking tough.

Soon after arriving in New York over the weekend, Ahmadinejad told AP that  “the future belongs to Iran” and the Obama administration “must recognize that Iran is a big power and accept it as such.”

Despite four rounds of U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iran to pressure the regime to suspend uranium enrichment and come clean about its nuclear program, Ahmadinejad insisted once again that his government does not want the bomb.

“If we had planned or wanted to build a nuclear bomb we are brave enough to say that we want it,” he said, a claim that ignores International Atomic Energy Agency complaints that Iran is keeping secrets from its investigators and refuses to disclose nuclear research facilities.

The U.S., Russia, France, U.K., and China, — the permanent members of the Security Council — will meet on Wednesday to try to coordinate policy on Iran.

The Iranian President addresses the U.N. Millennium Goal (MDG) Summit tomorrow.

Some 140 world leaders are attending the MDG meeting, where French President Nicolas Sarkozy, along with others, pledged to do their best to reach goals set at the General Assembly Debate of 2000 of halving extreme world poverty and make dramatic improvements in education by 2015.

President Obama addresses the summit on Wednesday.

On Monday, Bolivian President Evo Morales accused the West of causing much of the world’s poverty: “The commitment that developed countries have to give just 0.7 percent of their gross domestic product for official development aid is not a gift, it is part of their debt” to poorer nations. The UN says that even if severe poverty is cut in half, nearly one billion people will still be surviving on $1.25 a day.

President Ahmadinejad’s speech to the MDG summit on Tuesday, an address to the General Assembly shortly after Obama on Thursday, and a press conference on Friday give the defiant leader plenty of opportunities to ratchet up the rhetoric in the coming days.

On Thursday, Anti-Ahmadinejad activists from the Iranian-American community and human rights organizations plan huge rallies across from the U.N. complex and nearby the Hilton Hotel, where the Iranian delegation is staying.

Protestors will call on nations to stop Ahmadinejad’s government from developing nuclear weapons and demand an end to 31 years of the Islamic Republic’s jailing, torture and killing of thousands of political dissidents.

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