Author: Andrew

Ahmadinejad’s New York Trip Was To Influence the U.N. Security Council

Ahmadinejad’s New York Trip Was To Influence the U.N. Security Council

Op-Ed: What could come next for Iran after the Islamic Republic?

It has been nearly a month since I met President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the United Nations in New York. It was in late October 2008, when the Iranian president, with the support of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, launched a campaign of diplomatic and political pressure on the United States over Iran’s nuclear program.

We met in that conference room, with the walls covered in posters, for a face-to-face meeting of principals. I was surprised to learn that Ahmadinejad had traveled to New York because of the U.N. sanctions against Iran.

Ahmadinejad had traveled to New York to challenge US hardliners in the United Nations, and to get a voice in the ongoing negotiations in Vienna over a “deal” on Iran’s nuclear program.

My article, “The hardliners vs. the moderates,” was published shortly before the U.N. Conference on Afghanistan, which saw Ahmadinejad as a moderate voice in the anti-American struggle.

I have since learned that Ahmadinejad made the New York trip because he wanted to influence the dialogue over the Iranian nuclear program in the U.N. Security Council, where the US and its allies have been pushing for a deal.

We met in the conference room, which was filled with posters from Iran’s side, which showed that Ahmadinejad is a moderate.

However, as I began to write my article, in Tehran, I found myself confronting another Iranian leader, as well as a senior member of the Iranian government, who had a very different attitude toward the U.N. and the US.

That man was Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, who was present when Ahmadinejad and I met on the sidelines of the U.N. negotiations. He was in the lead as Ahmadinejad began his speech. The two countries that most resemble each other are Iran and America, and Velayati, a former prime minister,

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