BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 September 2007, 17:26 GMT 18:26 UK
Media anger over Ahmadinejad campus row
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Sections of the media in Iran have expressed grievances over the row on 24 September between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the head of New York's Columbia University, Lee Bollinger.

Mr Bollinger said the decision to invite President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been "consistent with the idea that one should know thine enemy... to confront with the mind of evil".

"an occasion for slander"

In a number of its news bulletins the following day, the Iranian news channel, Islamic Republic of Iran News Network (IRINN), carried a brief clip of Mr Bollinger's speech but excluded his reference to the Iranian leader as a "petty and cruel dictator". The clip began with Bollinger asking: "Do you plan on wiping us off the map, too?" This was followed by Mr Bollinger's comments about Iran's support for "terrorist groups".

A commentator speaking on IRINN said the university's officials "tried to turn the event into an occasion for slander and insults against Iran and our country's president ... revealing the depth of vindictiveness and the true nature of freedom of speech and democracy in America".

Parliament support

The media also noted that members of the Iranian parliament had expressed their support for Ahmadinejad. The Iranian news agency, IRNA, quoted parliamentarian, Mehdi Kuchakzadeh, describing the head of Columbia University's remarks as "a sign of tyranny".

The chairman of the Education and Research Committee, Ali Abbaspur-Tehrani, told the Iranian Mehr news agency that the fact that the US "steps beyond the boundaries of rationality is not surprising to our nation". He expressed his thanks to President Ahmadinejad "for defending the Iranian nation's rights in the heart of the land of arrogance and it is natural that they should display this kind of conduct, which is in line with the making of films like '300'".

Another editorial in Iran's moderate Mardom-Salari was critical of the president's media team for not briefing US reporters before interviewing him, saying that in one case "it was not clear whether the reporter was interviewing Ahmadinejad or interrogating him".

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.

Iran president in NY campus row
25 Sep 07 |  Middle East
Profile: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
28 Apr 06 |  Middle East

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific