Ahmadinejad Arrives in NY, Surrounded by Protests
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, together with a high-ranking delegation, arrived in New York Saturday evening to attend the 67th annual meeting of the UN General Assembly, IRNA reported.
In an eerie coincidence, Ahmadinejad is scheduled to address the UN on Wednesday, September 26, which happens to also be Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.
The Iranian President is scheduled to meet with heads of states and senior government officials on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly sessions, as well as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday afternoon.
Despite protests from Jewish and non-Jewish groups alike, Ahmadinejad is expected to stay at the posh Warwick New York Hotel on Sixth Avenue. The hotel has refrained from publicly commenting on the matter.
United Against Nuclear Iran, along with several prominent Jewish groups, will be protesting inside and outside the hotel, denouncing its decision to provide luxury accommodations to a man who blatantly denies the Holocaust, has claimed the U.S. orchestrated the September 11 terrorist attacks, and unremittingly calls for the complete obliteration of the State of Israel.
"We want him to see he's not welcome here," said Nathan Carleton, spokesman for United Against Nuclear Iran.
Shurat HaDin, an Israeli law center that defends victims of terror, has filed a legal motion in Manhattan federal court demanding that the hotel deny Ahmadinejad a room and instead grant that room to Stuart Hersh, a client who has yet to receive the $12 million judgment owed to him by Iran after he was injured in a 1997 Hamas suicide bombing in Jerusalem.
A federal judge on Thursday denied the motion, saying a room reservation is not property and can't be used to fulfill a legal judgment.
This will be the second year is a row that the Warwick Hotel has agreed to host the Iranian leader.