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A letter to Mr. Lee Bollinger
Thu, 27 Sep 2007 15:53:52

M. J. A. Larijani, President OF THE Institute for Studies in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics (IPM)

I wish to register my deepest regret in regard to your remarkably discourteous introductory remarks to President Ahmadinejad.

Your class act as an arbiter at the University of Columbia was nothing short of disgrace. It lacked professionalism especially given the fact that Mr. Ahmadinejad had not even been given the chance to speak. And it clearly undermined your repeatedly made claim that the event upheld free speech. Fortunately, this age, despite all its cruelty and barbarity, is an age of transparency, which is why not even liberals can hide themselves behind their usual covers these days.

What happened yesterday merely displayed utter conceit and petty politics showing who it was that really lacked civility. Trying to humiliate an invited guest, an elected President of a sovereign country, before an international media only reflects the culture of an insular and bigoted society. One wonders if your reaction had anything to do with donors threatening to withdraw funds from Columbia. It is incredulous that a respected American university chose to turn this meeting into a show trial of Iranian policies. So much for academic integrity and intellectual honesty.

Your crass, ill-mannered and duplicitous greeting of President Ahmadinejad amounted to a crude planned ambush. It is just unbelievable that someone who is simply questioning elements of the US foreign policy and refuses to be a US client should be submitted to such a systematic harassment.

If anybody wanted any proof that Israeli lobby controls US foreign policy, media, academic, etc., he has found plenty of evidence today. It has been noted that the protests against Iran at the UN and at Columbia were primarily made up of Israeli advocacy groups. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with that, but it highlights, among other things, AIPAC's influence not only on US foreign policy but also in the mainstream academia.

One could be forgiven for thinking that what happened yesterday at Columbia University represents the typical mindset of the present American ruling elite: delusionally arrogant, insolent and insensitive to the rest of the world. A sad spectacle since they have become so politically isolated that they are even incapable of learning from their past experiences.

It is extremely dishonest and manipulative to call into question the Iranian President's integrity when in reality it is the USA that is responsible for the misery and death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and total destruction of their country. America is the same country that installed a medieval Shah with its secret SAVAK police after removing the democratically government of Dr Mosaddeq which in turn led to the hundreds of thousands of Iranians being killed and tortured by an Israeli trained police force. Ever since its inception, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been subject to countless destabilizing attempts by the US. But it has thwarted them all. The 8-year old war with Iraq, when all Western countries were helping their then good old chum Saddam, failed to bring this country to its knees. We do not think that the current drive towards waging a new war on Iran will stand a better chance of success.

In any case, yesterday was an opportunity to show the world that the USA is an open country that will challenge its opponents with appropriate compassion and honest debate. Instead, your decision to gather all Zionist-manufactured anti-Iranian appellations, pile them up on the stage, and throw them shamelessly at your invited guest, will become the black page of ignominy in Columbia University's history.

With regards,

M. J. A. Larijani
Institute for Studies in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics (IPM)

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