Columbia University President Stuns Ahmadinejad with Blunt Rebuke

[New York Sun] Annie Karni - President Lee Bollinger of Columbia, in a dramatic speech Monday, delivered an oratorical haymaker to President Ahmadinejad, attacking his record on human rights, Israel, and terrorism in remarks that will likely overshadow anything the Iranian might say during his diplomatic rounds in America. "Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator," Bollinger said, after challenging the Iranian to admit a delegation from Columbia to speak at an Iranian university. Many audience members expressed some disappointment, if not surprise, that Ahmadinejad evaded answering almost every question posed to him by the dean of Columbia's School of Public and International Affairs, John Coatsworth, who read questions from index cards that were filled out by students and faculty members in the audience. When asked if he sought the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state, Ahmadinejad said many Jews live in Iran peacefully and with security. "We love all nations. We are friends with the Jewish people," Ahmadinejad said. When pressed for a "yes" or "no" answer, he prickled. "You asked the question and then you want the answer the way you want to hear it - that isn't really a free flow of information," he said.

2007-09-25 01:00:00

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