Protests at Ahmadinejad NYC visit

Iran's president labelled "evil" and a "madman" ahead of Columbia speech.

     A woman, left, defends the right of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak at Columbia University [AFP]

    Israel's destruction

    Bollinger promised to grill the president on subjects such as human rights, Iran's disputed nuclear programme and the Holocaust.

    The Iranian leader has previously called the Holocaust "a myth" and called for Israel to be "wiped off the map".

    The United States accuses Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of its civil nuclear programme, and of fueling violence in Iraq by providing weapons to fighters there, Iran denies the charges.

    On Monday morning Ahmadinejad met leaders of a movement called Neturei Karta International.

    The Orthodox Jewish group believe that Jews are forbidden to have their own state until the coming of the Messiah and are therefore opposed to the existence of the state of Israel.

    'Travesty'

    Last week, New York police said that Ahmadinejad had been denied a request to visit the World Trade Center site of the September 11 attacks.

    Condoleezza Rice, US secretary of state, said on Monday that it would have been a travesty for Ahmadinejad to visit the area.

    Rice said: "I think it would have been a travesty. This is somebody who is the president of a country that is probably the greatest sponsor, state sponsor, of terrorism."

    She said she did not see a way to reach Ahmadinejad but she hoped more moderate elements in Iranian politics would see the futility of Iran's remaining so isolated in the world.

    "[The] regime needs to change its behaviour," she said.

    In a CBS television interview broadcast on Sunday, Ahmadinejad said that Iran did not need nuclear weapons and his country was not heading for war with the United States.

    The president was asked whether Iran and the United States were heading toward conflict over Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

    He said: "It's wrong to think that Iran and the US are walking toward war. Who says so? Why should we go to war? There is no war in the offing."

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.