Several delegations, including the United States, walked out of the General Assembly chambers just as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began to speak.
The Canadians were among those who showed their displeasure with the Iranian president by exiting the already-half empty hall. Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon told reporters on Tuesday that he would walk out.
Other delegations watched the exodus, some with knowing nods.
“It is disappointing that Mr. Ahmadinejad has once again chosen to espouse hateful, offensive and anti-Semitic rhetoric,” officials from the U.S. Mission wrote in a statement distributed while Mr. Ahmadinejad was still speaking.
Israel on Tuesday called for a boycott of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s Wednesday evening speech.