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

Iran

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Applause for Ahmadinejad

September 23, 2010 - 5:39 PM | by: Eric Shawn

He was greeted by applause when he walked into the  United Nations General Assembly, and applauded again, even after questioning 9/11 and claiming that the American government may have been behind the attack.

That’s right, applauded after questioning the motivation for the terrorist attacks, who was  responsible for them, and essentially suggesting they were a U.S.  plot.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has made a variety of claims over the years during his appearances here, but he never  has gone this far when talking about 9/11.

During his General Assembly address, the Iranian President called for a “U.N. fact finding group” to investigate 9/11.

He also said that ”the majority of the American people  as well as most nations and politicians around the world” believe that “some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining of the American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order to save the Zionist regime.”

Before his speech, the Obama administration must have had high hopes that Ahmadinejad would have listened to the offers of diplomacy as presented by the administration and its allies on the Security Council. Members of the U.S. delegation remained in their seats. In years past, only what is called a “low-level note taker” has often been posted behind the little plastic “United States” sign, when Ahmadinejad took the stage.

On Tuesday, when Ahmadinejad spoke during the global summit on poverty, the American delegation remained even as he predicted the defeat of capitalism.

But true to form, he quickly went over the line with his 9/11 remarks and that prompted the U.S. diplomats, and others, to get up and walk out.

“ It’s outrageous,”  said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley. “a short distance from here, nine years ago, three-thousand people were killed in an attack perpetrated by nineteen people, and an attack that was orchestrated by Al Qaeda. We know exactly who did it, they’ve admitted it, the facts are not in dispute, so for the President of Iran to come here and make the suggestion that somehow this was an American plot, is simply outrageous.”

But as Ahmadinejad walked from the podium, he did so rewarded by applause in the august chamber of the world body.

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