Ahmadinejad’s New York Visit Aimed at Promoting Peace

A02268325.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Sunday said president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s upcoming trip to New York is in line with Iran’s policy to team up with the international community in its efforts to bring peace and justice to the world.

Ahmadinejad plans to travel to New York to attend the next UN General Assembly next week.

This would be Ahmadinejad’s fourth trip to the United States. The president last addressed the UN General Assembly in September, 2007.

“During the visit, Ahmadinejad will hold talks with his counterparts. He will also put forward Iran’s idea about unity for peace and justice which was welcomed in the latest summit of the Non-Aligned Movement,” Mottaki was quoted by Tehran Times as telling reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet session.

Referring to the US refusal to issue visa for the Iranian delegation, Mottaki said, “Our representatives are pursuing this issue. Although the US has some records in this regard we hope that this problem will be resolved in coming days.”

The General Assembly meets under its president or secretary general in regular yearly sessions which last from September to December, although it can reconvene for special and emergency sessions

Meantime, the United States has once again stonewalled the visa process for the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to attend the United Nations General Assembly later this month in New York.

Despite a timely application, no visas have yet been issued for the president and any of the Iranian delegation members.

Ahmadinejad is scheduled to address the General Assembly on September 23 and expected to once again refer to the need for amending the status quo of the UN, which he says is controlled by world powers, especially the US.

An agreement signed between the United States and the United Nations years ago requires Washington to allow foreign leaders to speak before the world body. The agreement requires visas for heads of states visiting the UN headquarters to be granted as promptly as possible.

Ahmadinejad had the same problem last year when he wanted to go to New York. The US last year purposefully delayed the process to disrupt the president’s travel schedule.

The visas were eventually issued but only for a limited number of the Iranian delegation. Many journalists, including FNA reporters were refrained the entry visa to the US to cover the event.

The upcoming visit would be Ahmadinejad’s fourth to New York since he ascended to power in August 2005.

During his last trip in September 2007, Ahmadinejad requested to lay a wreath at the World Trade Center, the site of the September 11 attacks, to pay tribute to the victims of the tragedy. His bid, however, was rejected by city officials.

The United States and Iran broke diplomatic relations in April 1980, after Iranian students seized the United States’ espionage center at its embassy in the heart of Tehran. The two countries have had tense relations ever since.

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