He's called UN sanctions against Iran "annoying flies, like a used tissue" and George Bush "a wicked man" but the Middle East's most colourful President is bowing out of politics.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has never been afraid to say the most outrageous things, on the world's biggest stages, accused the US of orchestrating 9/11 during a speech at the UN, and telling students at Colombia University that Iran doesn't have gay people.

As he bows out of the limelight, after a brutal seven years in power, we take a look at Ahmadinejad's 10 Choicest Quotes.

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  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on 9/11

    At the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2010, he accused the US of orchestrating the 9/11 attacks. "Some segments within the American government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy, and its grips on the Middle East, in order to save the Zionist regime. The majority of the American people as well as most nations and politicians around the world agree with this view."

  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Homosexuality

    "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country ... In Iran we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who's told you that we have this." This was said to a Columbia University audience — on charges of mistreatment of gays and lesbians in Iran — during a visit in September 2007.

  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on George W Bush

    In an interview with ABC News in May 2010, he said: "I heard that Osama bin Laden is in Washington DC ... Yes, I did. He's there. Because he was a previous partner of Mr Bush. "They were colleagues in fact in the old days. You know that. They were in the oil business together. They worked together. Mr bin Laden never co-operated with Iran but he co-operated with Mr Bush."

  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on wearing a tie

    "The supreme guide (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) himself has said in a fatwa that the wearing of ties or bow ties is not permitted," he said in an interview in 2010. The tie is seen by many in the country as a symbol of Western culture.

  • Mahmoud Ahmadinjad On Israel's 60th Birthday

    "Those who think they can revive the stinking corpse of the usurping and fake Israeli regime by throwing a birthday party are seriously mistaken" His comment in July 2007 came in the middle of the presidential elections, and put Barack Obama under pressure as he had previously said he would be prepared to sit down and talk with Iranian leaders.

  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad On Hilary Clinton

    "Presidency of a woman in a country that boasts its gunmanship is unlikely." His comment came after Clinton, then campaigning for the Presidential nomination in 2007, boasted the US could obliterate Iran.

  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Nuclear Inspections

    We thank God that our enemies are idiots. We don't need you. It is you who need the Iranian people. This is the funniest decision I've seen." The outburst came when the International Atomic Energy voted to report Iran to the UN Security Council.

  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad On The Holocaust

    “Some European countries insist on saying that during World War II, Hitler burned millions of Jews and put them in concentration camps. Any historian, commentator or scientist who doubts that is taken to prison or gets condemned. "Although we don't accept this claim, if we suppose it is true... If the Europeans are honest they should give some of their provinces in Europe – like in Germany, Austria or other countries – to the Zionists and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe. You offer part of Europe and we will support it." Ahmadinejad made his perhaps most infamous comments on iranian TV in 2005, and has been branded a Holocaust denier by most Western politicians.

  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad On Israel

    "Israel should be wiped off the map." It was his introduction to the world as Iran's new president in 2005, said to 4,000 students at a program called "The World Without Zionism." It remains perhaps his most controversial quote. Ahmadinejad later claimed that his remarks were mistranslated by the Islamic Republic News Agency, and <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/did-ahmadinejad-really-say-israel-should-be-wiped-off-the-map/2011/10/04/gIQABJIKML_blog.html" target="_blank">several academics have supported the theory </a>that the originally Farsi was more a prediction that Israel "would collapse" or "vanish from the history books" rather than a direct threat.

  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Paul the Octopus who predicted the World Cup results

    "Those who believe in this type of thing cannot be the leaders of the global nations that aspire, like Iran, to human perfection, basing themselves in the love of all sacred values," he said in 2010.

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