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World leaders gather in NYC for U.N. General Assembly

more on what these world leaders have had to say at the UNited Nations.

The annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly convened in New York on Monday, with representatives of 192 countries attending the session.

Ten years after world leaders set the most ambitious goals ever to tackle global poverty, they are gathered again to spur action to meet the deadline - which the UN says will be difficult, if not impossible, in some cases.

Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

In the past, Ahmadinejad has used the general debate as a forum to defend Iran's nuclear program and assail its arch foes Israel and the United States, typically prompting walkouts by the United States and some European countries.

Earlier this week, the Iranian president showed every sign of being in command of himself and prepared to deflect questions about his government's harsh suppression of opposition forces after last year's disputed election that returned him to a second term.

"The United States' administrations ... must recognize that Iran is a big power," he said. "Having said that, we consider ourselves to be a human force and a cultural power and hence a friend of other nations. We have never sought to dominate others or to violate the rights of any other country.

Over the years, Ahmadinejad has become more articulate and polished. He wore a gray pinstriped suit and a pinstriped white shirt, open with no tie, for the interview, conducted in an East Side hotel not far from the United Nations.

The U.N. Security Council already has imposed four rounds of sanctions against Iran to try to pressure Ahmadinejad's government to suspend enrichment and return to negotiations with the six countries trying to resolve the dispute over the country's nuclear ambitions — the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. Foreign ministers of the six are to meet this week on the sidelines of the General Assembly.