Last year, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to the United Nations as an outspoken antagonist of the United States but was upstaged by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s declaration to the General Assembly that George W. Bush was “the devil.”
This week, the Iranian president has the stage to himself, and the reviews are in.
“‘TEHRAN’TING LUNATIC … bloody handed villain … bearded blowhard” —New York Post.
“Iranian thug … madman” — New York Daily News.
“Maniac” — Republican Rep. Vito Fossella of Staten Island.
“Can’t get a decent haircut” —Post columnist Andrea Peyser.
Nonetheless, before he left Tehran for New York on Sunday, Ahmadinejad told Iran’s state-run media that he believes Americans want to hear him out.
“The American people in the past years have been denied correct and clear information about global developments and are eager to hear different opinions,” he said.
Ahmadinejad also said the General Assembly was an “important podium” for him to express Iran’s views.
He’ll air those views today in a forum at Columbia University and Tuesday at the General Assembly. His visits to both places are likely to draw large protests. . .
“This could serve as a vehicle for dialogue between the U.S. and Iran,” said Faiza Ali, speaking for the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. (MORE)