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What They're Saying About the 67th United Nations General Assembly


What They're Saying About the 67th United Nations General Assembly

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, addresses the UN General Assembly on Sept. 26, 2012, in New York City.

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
In the last week of September 2012, leaders from around the world gathered at the United Nations for the 67th General Assembly. The lineup reflected a sea change from pre-Arab Spring gatherings, with no Moammar Gadhafi tearing up the UN charter and Egypt's first democratically elected president since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. It also featured likely the last time that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will address the UN and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drawing a red line on Iran's nuclear program. Here is some reaction to the 67th UNGA.

"So far as civil nuclear energy is concerned, Iran has a right to develop civil nuclear energy but as far as it is for military use, no way, because it is too dangerous. Not only because it is Iran but because it is dissemination -- nuclear dissemination. And if it goes that way, it means that the region can be a terrible menace. Therefore, no way. The question is how do you convince Iran to evolve? We have -- when I say we it means the Big 5 -- France, U.S., British, China, and Russia. We're united on this issue." -- France Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius interviewed on PBS

"I think we have laid out a red line and that is Iran cannot actually get a weapon. And we've had extensive, intensive talks with the Israelis. There's no light between us on the intelligence picture, there's no light between us on the policy objectives and we've worked very closely in a number of areas on diplomacy, on sanctions to try to further isolate Iran and get them to change their decision-making calculus and give up the quest for a bomb." -- President Obama's 2012 Campaign National Security Advisory Committee Co-Chairwoman Michele A. Flournoy interviewed on CNN

"When President Obama came to the White House, he and his team reassessed the situation in the relationship between < href="http://goeasteurope.about.com/od/moscowtravel/p/moscowprofile.htm">Moscow and Washington and suggest what they call the reset of those relations which we supported. And I believe that since then, we have been having understanding between us, between Moscow and Washington, that the real mutually beneficial partnership in the interest of the Russian and the American people and in the interest of international relations given the importance of the two countries can be based on equal, mutually respectful, mutually beneficial relationship. ...Another area of irritation, I would say, is the civil society in Russia. We are all in favor of civil society interaction between the two countries, but on the basis which would not be tantamount to lecturing and indicating to domestic things as something which gives the «United» States the right to, you know, to pass judgment and adopt legislations like the one which is being considered now on the Hill regarding the Magnitsky case." -- Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov interviewed on PBS

"If you look at the president's UNGA -- U.N. General Assembly -- speeches over the years he's been president, 2009, 2010, 2011. He repeatedly cites the biggest challenges facing America and the U.N. and world, that he said it today. He cited Iran in 2009, he cited the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in 2009, he cited Syria before. All these situations are in total disarray. There is no progress on the Israeli-Palestinian track. There's great distance between the Israeli and U.S. governments today. Iran is closer to a nuclear weapon than has ever been in recent years. And Syria, you have some 20,000 Syrians dead and Assad still in power hanging on to power. So there is a sense that there's an unraveling going on abroad and the president just citing these challenges doesn't mean we're making progress on these challenges." -- GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's adviser Dan Senor interviewed on MSNBC

"Ahmadinejad gave a long, rambling speech. Previously we've walked out because of his anti-Semitism, threats against Israel and 9/11 conspiracies. This year his only crime was incoherence." -- a European diplomat to Reuters on condition of anonymity

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