Columbia head says Ahmadinejad 'petty'

NEW YORK, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- The president of Columbia University Monday chastised Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his controversial views before his speech on New York campus.

"Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of being a petty and cruel dictator," said Lee Bollinger in remarks introducing Ahmadinejad to the packed auditorium. Ahmadinejad's appearance on the New York campus drew thousand of protesters who denounced his presence.


Bollinger challenged Ahmadinejad on his remarks questioning the Holocaust, his country's nuclear development and providing weaponry to terrorists.

He said Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust was either "brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated."

On the nuclear matter, Bollinger told the Iranian president, "You continue to defy the world body" regarding his country's development of nuclear capability.

"Today, I feel all the weight of all the civilized world" that wanted to "express revulsion" for what Ahmadinejad stands for. "I only wish I could do a better job."

In his opening remarks Ahmadinejad said the introductory remarks were "an insult of information," which contained incorrect information.

"I think he was affected by the press, the media and the political mainstream," Ahmadinejad said.


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