Coming To America
While Iran suddenly cancelled the scheduled meeting with the EU’s Javier Solana over the Iranian nuclear program, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that he is anxious to address the UN General Assembly once more in New York City on September 19, the week following the 5-year anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
While the Solana meeting was reportedly cancelled due to an “Iranian reluctance to attend,” they are said to be rescheduling the meeting to occur in a few days.
But Ahmadinejad would ideally like to turn his controversial UN appearance into a debate with President Bush. Said Ahmadinejad boldly, “The American side can even take part in the debate side by side with his advisors, and as a full team, if they wish so.” Their scheduled speeches are nearly eight hours apart.
Many hold a perplexed if not angry view of another Ahmadinejad visit. It was for the UN General Assembly last year when Ahmadinejad was granted an entry visa, speaking to the assembly professing Iran’s peaceful nuclear intentions, closing with a call for the return of the 12th Imam. Ahmadinejad later claimed in Iran that literally no one in the assembly blinked while he was speaking and that there was a divine green aura around him during his delivery.
This year’s visit is no less controversial, considering the uproar generated by former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami’s permited visit this week, where he proceeded to deliver speeches at various American universities and included a Chicago speech where he criticized US policy as fomenting terrorist.
Yet the visas are granted, angering observers frustrated that, in the middle of the War on Terror when airline manifestos are scoured for the names of potential terrorists, the leaders of the state sponsor of terrorism are invited to deliver public speeches. Addressing government bodies and – in the case of Khatami - criss-crossing the United States speaking at universities, they bitterly criticize America and the prosecution of the War on Terror.
Yet back in Iran, the Iranian military announced a new Iranian jet fighter, complete with Iran’s first guided 2000-pound bomb, and that they had successfully tested the Saegheh (Thunderbolt) and claimed it to be “100 percent Iranian made and no foreign country has collaborated in its development.” It was also claimed to be “similar to the American F-18 but stronger.”
However, the Iranian Thunderbolt is actually not an indigenous Iranian plane at all nor similar to the F-18 Hornet employed by both the US Navy and Marine Corps, but rather a redesigned American F-5 supplied during the era of the Shah in the 1970’s.
While Iran continues to underwrite international terror, including but not limited to bankrolling Hizballah in Lebanon and Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army in Iraq, it’s leaders continue to engage in information warfare, employing speeches and public appearances on their proclaimed enemy’s soil at their enemy’s own invitation.