Iran’s disputed president returns to United Nations
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the state-proclaimed winner of Iran’s national election last June, won’t be the only Iranian in New York today when he addresses the United Nations General Assembly.
Thousands of exiled Iranians from the United States and Canada are expected to descend on the United Nations building to protest Ahmadinejad’s election victory, which they believe was rigged, according to various news sources.
The June election sparked weeks of protests, riots and military reprisals in Iran. And, although things have quieted down, the dissent has not disappeared. Just last Friday, thousands gathered in Tehran to voice their objections to Ahmadinejad’s presidency. More such gatherings are expected in coming weeks as students return to universities around the country.
Not that any of it matters much to Ahmadinejad, who continues to have the support of Iran’s most powerful Muslim cleric. The Iranian president goes gleefully on his way, denying the
Holocaust, daring any other country to take action against Iran’s developing nuclear program and maintaining his bellicose attitude toward his critics inside and outside of Iran.
No doubt we’ll hear more of the same when he reaches the podium at the United Nations today.
But, with dissent continuing within Iran and at world events such as the U.N. gathering, we can only hope that world leaders will recognize Ahmadinejad does not truly represent the people of Iran and will begin to treat him with derision instead of affording him positions of respect.