Columbia students may dine with Ahmadinejad

'New York Post' reports Iranian leader to meet with university representatives when he visits the UN this month.

September 13, 2011 22:35
1 minute read.
Benjamin Netanyahu

Bibi netanyahu. (photo credit: JPost Staff)

A number of students at Columbia University may meet and dine with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he visits New York to address the UN General Assembly later this month, The New York Post reported Tuesday.

According to the report, members of the Columbia International Relations Council and Association received an email with an invitation to a private dinner with the Iranian leader. Fifteen students will reportedly attend. The location of the dinner is not yet known.

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This would not be the president’s first meeting with Columbia students. In 2007 Ahmadinejad appeared at the School of International and Public Affairs' annual World Leaders Forum where he was grilled by students and staff alike.

Columbia University President Lee Bollinger, who had faced harsh criticism from Jewish and non-Jewish leaders alike for inviting Ahmadinejad, defended his decision to allow the Iranian leader to speak at the forum, but criticized Teheran's human rights record, its calls for Israel's destruction and the president's denial of the Holocaust as a myth. "Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator," he said then when introducing Ahmadinejad to the audience.

The Iranian president then evaded the question of whether he would seek the destruction of the State of Israel. He refused to give a yes or no answer to the question of whether he or his government wanted to destroy Israel and said instead that to solve the "60-year-old problem, we must allow the Palestinian people to decide its future itself."

Michal Lando contributed to this report.

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