President Ahmadinejad is used to prompting walkouts at UN meetings. At what have become little more than talking shops, he isn’t accustomed to his style being squashed by substance.
He came to the tower on the Hudson River for political theatre on a global scale and the UN’s procedural rules played into that — as the only attending head of state he was the first to speak.
He wasted no time in turning the accusations against Iran on their head, casting himself as victim and saviour in a nuclearised world.
Some of it actually made sense, or appeared to, even if the arguments were tired; that the premise of the entire Non-Proliferation Treaty is unfair, dividing countries into two camps — the nuclear elite and the have-nots.
Most of it, however, was the usual cocktail of faux-piousness and bile with which Mr Ahmadinejad seeks to spice up such events.
Missing from his speech was any nod to the international disquiet over Iran’s nuclear programme, despite warnings from UN leaders that they were still to be convinced of its professed peaceful purpose.
“Possession of nuclear bombs is not a source of pride; rather its possession is disgusting and shameful,” Mr Ahmadinejad said. “Those who carried out the first atomic explosion are among the most hated in history.” How, he asked, could the US be trusted to lead on nuclear disarmament when it alone had used an atomic weapon?