NewsSpecial WireIran’s hard-line President out to woo Iranians in New...

Iran’s hard-line President out to woo Iranians in New York

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Iran Focus: London, Aug. 31 – Iran’s new hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is planning to woo Iranian exiles living in the United States in his upcoming trip to New York for the opening ceremony of the United Nations’ General Assembly. Iran Focus

London, Aug. 31 – Iran’s new hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is planning to woo Iranian exiles living in the United States in his upcoming trip to New York for the opening ceremony of the United Nations’ General Assembly.

According to Iran’s new Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, Ahmadinejad recently told Tehran’s ambassador to the UN to draw up a list of 100 different problems facing Iranian expatriates in the U.S., and Ahmadinejad would announce solutions to these problems during his visit.

Several sources inside Iran’s Foreign Ministry, where the staff have a very low view of their new minister as the man who was once the Revolutionary Guards’ liaison officer in the ministry, ridiculed the idea.

“Ahmadinejad has very little understanding of the West, because he has spent very little time there and rarely interacted with Westerners”, said a career diplomat in the ministry, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “So he thinks Iranians in New York would buy hollow populist propaganda, as some in the poor neighbourhoods of Tehran do. He’ll have his comeuppance”.

Ahmadinejad, who is still under U.S. investigation for his involvement in the 1979 U.S. hostage crisis in Tehran, is bringing along with him an entourage that includes officials with tainted pasts.

Manouchehr Mottaki, who will be accompanying the new president, was Iran’s ambassador to Ankara until 1989, when Turkish authorities asked him to leave after his involvement in the murder and kidnapping of dozens of Iranian dissidents was uncovered.

Others in the entourage include Mehdi Chemran, the ultra-Islamist chairman of Tehran City Council; Massoud Zaribafan, a member of the Tehran City Council; Elham Aminzadeh, a Majlis deputy from Tehran; Kamal Kharrazi, Iran’s former Foreign Minister; and Gholam-Hossein Elham, the president’s chief of staff.

It is expected that no Iranian reporters other than the official state television and radio broadcasting corporation would accompany Ahmadinejad, whose new nuclear proposal for the West is expected to be handed over while he is there.

Sources say that concern over security led to Ahmadinejad’s decision to stay at the residence of Iran’s ambassador to the UN in New York instead of staying at a hotel.

Meanwhile, Iranian exiles have announced that they plan to demonstrate against the presence of Ahmadinejad on U.S. soil, describing him as a “former hostage-taker, executioner of dissidents, and mastermind behind many assassinations abroad”.

The rally by the New York Committee against Ahmadinejad (NYCA) will take place in New York City on September 14, according to a statement on their website.

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