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Iranian president banned from laying a wreath at 9/11 Ground Zero

*** The US regime has blocked an unprecedented gesture of peace and friendship from the president of Iran. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is going to New York on official business and had wanted to visit the site where the Twin Towers collapsed to pay his respects and lay a wreath to on behalf of the people of Iran, but permission was refused by officials who cited various conflicting excuses. The order to block the visit came directly from the Israeli regime (see further reading section below) and was simultaneously backed by high-profile support from powerful figures in the international Jewish lobby. Right-wing and Zionist/Jewish commentators in politics and the mass media have used the incident against the Iranian president, exploiting it as an opportunity to make negative comments about the Iranian government. Iran's gesture would have conflicted with the image of the country conjured by western and israeli pre-war propaganda. ***

Iran president banned from laying wreath at Ground Zero

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was denied permission to lay a wreath at Ground Zero in New York today after the US accused him of seeking a crude "photo-op".

The Iranian president, who is arriving on Sunday to address the United Nations General Assembly, had asked the city's police department, the US Secret Service and the port authorities for permission to visit the site of the 11 September terrorist attacks.

The request was rejected because of ongoing construction there, an NYPD spokesman said. "Requests for the Iranian president to visit the immediate area would also be opposed by the NYPD on security grounds."

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said yesterday that the city was considering Mr Ahmadinejad's request. But his comments prompted an outcry from politicians and families of the 11 September victims.

The US ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, said America would not support Iran's attempt to use the site for a "photo op". "Iran can demonstrate its seriousness about concern with regard to terrorism by taking concrete actions" such as dropping support for Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and suspending the Iranian uranium-enrichment programme, Mr Khalilzad said.

It was unclear whether Mr Ahmadinejad wanted to go to the site itself, where the twin towers stood, or lay a wreath on a sidewalk outside.

White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the visit was "a matter for the city of New York, but it seems more than odd that the president of a country that is a state sponsor of terror would visit Ground Zero".

Mohammad Mir Ali Mohammadi, of the Iranian mission to the UN, said: "President Ahmadinejad intended to lay a wreath to pay tribute to the victims of the terrorists' attack. We are hopeful that we can still work something out with the police department."


Metro, "Iran president banned from laying wreath at Ground Zero", p 26, 21 September 2007.


Haaretz, "Iranian president seeks to visit Ground Zero", 20 September 2007.
    A senior UN official revealed yesterday that the Iranian UN delegation has approached New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly with a request to coordinate arrangements for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to visit the memorial site to the victims of the September 11 terror attacks on the Twin Towers during a planned two-day visit to New York.
    Israeli UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman has urged the U.S. administration to deny Ahmadinejad participation oin the opening session of the United Nations 62nd General Assembly next week in New York City.
    "It is the obligation of the American legal authorities to prevent his entrance into the United States and if he does enter, to arrest him and try him for incitement to genocide and aiding and abetting terrorists who kill American soldiers in Iraq," Gillerman told Haaretz yesterday.
    Gillerman also protested to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon over Ahmadinejad's plan to attend the session.
    The Iranian president is to address the General Assembly on September 25, the first day of the general debate, which is to be opened by President George W. Bush.
    Gillerman says he is aware of the American obligation as the UN host-country to allow any member of the organization to enter the US, "but there is also a limit to honoring agreements," he said.
    The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is planning a protest against Ahmadinejad in front of UN headquarters. Conference Vice Chairman Malcolm Honlein called Ahmadinejad's appearence "a negative message to the world."

"The Insider" mailing list article, 21 September 2007.

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Tags: Iran, visit, 9/11, refused, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ground Zero, lay, wreath, tour, anti-iranian, propaganda, , conspiracy theories.

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