News Release

Ahmadinejad in the U.S.

Today Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is speaking to the National Press Club and at Columbia University.

JOHN LEINUNG
A member of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, an organization of family members of people killed in the 9-11 attacks, Leinung said today: “If he really wanted to go lay a wreath [at the WTC site], let him lay a wreath. I would object to him — as we’ve objected to any political figure — using it for a political statement.”
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ERVAND ABRAHAMIAN
Abrahamian, who was born in Iran, is a distinguished professor of history at City University of New York. He is the author of the article “Iran: The Next Target?” and several books including Iran Between Two Revolutions.

ROSS POURZAL
Pourzal is with the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran.

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DAVID BARSAMIAN
Journalist Barsamian’s latest book, Targeting Iran, has just been released. He has recently been in Iran, Lebanon and Syria.

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STEPHEN ZUNES
Middle East editor for Foreign Policy in Focus, Zunes said: “As extreme as Ahmadinejad’s views may be, they do not usually represent the thinking of the clerical leadership which are the real power in the country. The Iranian president is not, to give just one example, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Just as Ahmadinejad’s predecessor Muhammed Khatami was unable to push through his reformist agenda, Ahmadinejad has proven himself similarly impotent in pushing his more hard-line agenda. The disproportionate attention given to the outrageous statements of the current Iranian president by those in Washington despite his lack of real power appears to be motivated more out of a desire to promote the Bush administration’s hostile agenda toward Iran than an honest reflection of the complex realities of contemporary Iranian politics.”

Zunes is a professor of politics at the University of San Francisco and the author of Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism.

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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan,(541) 484-9167.