By David Ariosto
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his nation was committed to peace and accused world powers of double standards in pursuing an arms race, as he took to the stage Wednesday at the United Nations General Assembly.
His address on day two of the general debate was widely expected to prove contentious, given the Iranian leader's history of controversial statements, but he made no mention of Israel.
At times, his remarks seemed almost conciliatory.
Speaking from the assembly's iconic green marble podium, Ahmadinejad told delegates that Iran has a "global vision and welcomes any effort intended to provide and promote peace, stability and tranquility" in the world.
However, an "arms race and intimidation by nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction by the hegemonic powers have become prevalent," he said, and Iran finds itself under threat from world powers seeking to impose their views.
"Continued threat by the uncivilized Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example of this bitter reality," he said. "A state of mistrust has cast its shadow on the international relations, while there is no trusted or just authority to help resolve world conflicts."
It was the Iranian president's eighth and final address to the assembly, with his final term in office coming to an end next year.
As Ahmadinejad spoke, the place set aside for the U.S. delegation was empty. The Canadian delegation also did not attend the speech, and Israel's representatives were absent in observance of Yom Kippur.