NEW YORK (CNN) -- City officials in New York have denied Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's request to visit the site of the destroyed World Trade Center next week, a police spokesman said Wednesday.
The controversial, outspoken president wanted to "pay his respects" and lay a wreath at the site of the 2001 al Qaeda attacks during his visit to the U.N. General Assembly, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said, citing Iranian officials.
But workers are rebuilding the foundations of the site, "and it would not be possible for him to go where other people don't go," Kelly told CNN.
Iranian officials have not put in any additional requests to visit the public platforms at ground zero, police spokesman Paul Browne told CNN. But, he said, "If there were a further request, we'd reject it" because of security fears. VideoWatch why New York said no to Iranian leader Ľ
The Iranian mission to the U.N. said it had not been told of the decision, but in a statement issued Wednesday evening, it called the rejection "unfortunate."
Iran is ruled by a Shiite Muslim government hostile to the fundamentalist Sunni al Qaeda.
Ahmadinejad's predecessor at the time of the September 11 attacks, Mohammed Khatami, condemned them, and Tehran cooperated with the U.S.-led campaign to topple al Qaeda's Taliban allies in Afghanistan that followed.
The United States and Iran have not had formal diplomatic relations since 1980 after Iranian militants stormed the United States Embassy in Tehran and held Americans hostage for 444 days.
The United States considers Iran a state sponsor of terrorism and has accused the country of meddling in Iraq and in Afghanistan where U.S. troops are battling Taliban and al Qaeda remnants more than six years after the September 11, 2001, attacks.
More than 2,700 people died in the attack on the World Trade Center, when al Qaeda terrorists flew hijacked passenger jets into the twin towers. A third jet hit the Pentagon, and a fourth crashed in a Pennsylvania field after passengers resisted their hijackers.
"It is appalling that President Ahmadinejad, one of the world's leading sponsors of terror, would find it appropriate to visit this hallowed ground," State Department spokesman Tom Casey said.
Several presidential candidates also condemned the requested visit. Hillary Clinton, the New York senator and Democratic front-runner, called the request "unacceptable." Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a leading Republican, called it "shockingly audacious."
And former Mayor Rudy Giuliani -- whose leadership after the attacks is the cornerstone of his GOP presidential bid -- said that "under no circumstances" should Ahmadinejad be allowed to visit the World Trade Center site.
Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said the site should not be "used as a photo op."
Numerous critics have attacked Ahmadinejad's hard-line anti-Israel stance and his insistence that Iran will defy U.N. demands that it halt its production of enriched uranium. Iran insists it is producing nuclear fuel for civilian power plants, but Washington accuses Tehran of trying to produce a nuclear bomb.
CNN Correspondent Deborah Feyerick contributed to this report.
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Thread: Iran banned from WTC
09-20-2007, 09:34 AM #1
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- Jan 2006
Iran banned from WTC
09-20-2007, 10:45 AM #2
343 + dead Brothers say NO!
I find it hard to believe that I would, on any day agree with both Hillary and Rudy, but on this I'm with them. Gloat somewhere else you fuzzy b@st*rd. He or any other terrorist sponsoring individual shall not desecrate the graves of our murdered brothers. Ever.Think first and be safe. Your family wants to hold you, not a folded flag.
Proud member of the Patriot Guard Riders
09-20-2007, 02:15 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jan 2006
Just realized we had a similar thread in the main forums, sorry for the double post.
09-20-2007, 05:23 PM #4Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."
09-20-2007, 06:10 PM #5
They are both exactly the same in my book. The only difference is that Iran is actively seeking nuclear weapons, and is more public about erasing Israel off the globe. They are both virtual equals in the world of terrorism
I personally think the iranian president only wishes to lay a wreath in honor of the murderers who did the hijacking.
Now that I think about it, it's a free country. I say let him go down there, there's nothing that says we have to give him a security detail. Freedom of the press exists, as well. Let him go down there, and then let's broadcast the time he'll be there.
09-21-2007, 10:50 AM #6
Hmm. Let the president of Iran stand out in the open with minimal security?? How about we let him go, but place a big "X" for him to stand on. Then, we see how many NYC S.W.A.T. team members want to volunteer for sniper training that same day. How about just letting him fly in, then deny his airplane the right to fly in U.S. airspace. If they refuse to turn around and try to land, shoot it down...
I know, it wouldn't be politically correct, and that he has "diplomatic immunity" when he comes to the U.N. This is why the U.N. needs to move its world headquarters out of New York, and away from the U.S.....
09-21-2007, 04:56 PM #7
- Join Date
- Feb 2003
In response, he does have immunity, but does the aircraft?
A fine legal point if I do say so.
09-21-2007, 06:03 PM #8
hhhmmmmmm I may be in the minority but.... let him
He may be anti-USA and may speak out against us.... just as WE do to him...
but if the US laws ALLOW him to enter the US... there is nothing that should prevent him from visiting the site. If they LAWS do not allow him, then he is just out of luck
Now, with that being said.... if he wants to visit the site, it should be at his own risk. He does not need the protection of the NYPD or FBI or whatever. It should be made known due to his comments and such, he enters the site at HIS own risk to himself and his bodyguards.
09-22-2007, 03:44 PM #9
- Join Date
- Apr 2007
I like what Jay Leno said in his monologue the other night.
"Why not make it easy for them, and just bring Ground Zero to their country."
Works for me!
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