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Iranian academics ask 10 questions from Columbia University president

Tehran, Sept 25, IRNA

Chancellors of six Iranian universities and academic centers on Tuesday expressed indignation at aggressive tone and degrading behavior of head of Columbia University Lee Bollinger in hosting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

They forwarded a protest letter to Bollinger to voice outrage at his ignorance of the principle of hosting the president of Iran, a country of great civilization and a 7,000-year history.

"It is a shame for an academic center that such hateful and impolite words are uttered by its president. It is regretful that the media owners easily elicit what they want the president of a reputable university to say in his lecture," they said in the letter.

"Your statement about Iran was full of undocumented charges brought by the media and some of which were the outcome of misunderstanding which needs dialogue and closer study," it said.

The Iranian academics posed 10 questions to Bollinger in return for the 10 questions he asked from President Ahmadinejad.

1. Why did the US media exert pressure on you to cancel President Ahmadinejad's lecture at University of Columbia and why did the US TV networks broadcast programs for several days against the Iranian president and did not allow him to respond to the allegations? Does this not run counter to freedom of expression?

2. Why did the US come to the help of Iranian dictator (deposed Shah) in 1953 and launched military coup against then prime minister Mohammad Mossadeq?

3. Why did the US back Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to invade Iran in 1980 and supplied him with chemical weapons to attack both Iraqi people and Iranian soldiers?

4. Why doesn't the US administration recognize the democratically elected government of Palestine in Gaza and why does it oppose Iranian proposal to hold referendum in Palestine to end the 60-year old occupation.

5. Why did the US Army with its advanced weapons not capture Ben Ladan. How do you respond to the longstanding family friendship of President George W. Bush and Ben Laden and the oil deals with Bush and sabotaging process of inquiry into September 11 by the US president.

6. Why does the US administration support the terrorist Mujahideen Khalq Organization (MKO) despite that fact that it has carried out terrorist operations in Iran since 1981.

7. Was there an international consensus when the US invaded Iraq in 2003? What is the aim of killing several thousand Iraqis and where are the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) for which the US unleashed the war?

8. Why does the US Administration always support the
non-democratic and military governments?

9. Why did the US administration give negative vote to resolution of IAEA general conference calling for making the Middle East free from weapons of mass destruction?

10. Why is the US administration dissatisfied with Iran-IAEA agreement to resolve the outstanding issues about Iranian nuclear program?

They extended an invitation to Bollinger to visit Iran and talk with intellectuals and ordinary people to see for himself the realities.

Allhumma innaka afuwun tuhibbul-afwa fa'fu anni (O Allah you are Forgiving and love forgiveness so forgive me).



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