By Kenneth R. Timmerman
Published September 13, 2005
Tomorrow, New York Police
Commissioner Ray Kelly should order his men to escort the new hard-line
president of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Kennedy International
Airport, the minute he finishes speaking to the U.N. General Assembly
at 3:10 p.m.
Ahmadinejad, who took office in August after disputed elections, is not
just any head of state. He has a terrorist pedigree that should make
him an unwelcome guest in any civilized country, if having a terrorist
"watch list" serves any purpose. But perhaps "civilized" is not an
adjective that applies to the United Nations, which has standards all
Department found Aug. 31 that the Iranian president was "excludable" by
law from entering the United States, since he met the definition of an
"international terrorist." Nevertheless, the wise heads at Foggy Bottom
decided to waive the law.
The U.S. was
bound by the Host Treaty agreement to allow anyone -- absolutely anyone
-- to address the U.N. if they represented a sovereign state, the State
Department lawyers argued. Besides, Mr. Ahmadinejad would not be
allowed to travel more than 25 miles outside New York.
restriction has not dampened Mr. Ahmadinejad's plans to gather
Iranian-Americans for a series of private meetings in Manhattan, where
he plans to encourage them to lobby the U.S. government against the
policies of the Bush administration, according to individuals who have
been contacted by the Islamic Republic's U.N. delegation to attend the
Mr. Ahmadinejad wants their support in discouraging the United States
from referring Iran's violations of its commitments to the
International Atomic Energy Agency to the U.N. Security Council for
sanctions. He also wants pro-regime Iranians in the United States to
lobby Congress and the White House to lift the U.S. trade embargo on
If Mr. Kelly
and the New York Police Department feel they cannot prevent Mr.
Ahmadinejad from addressing the U.N. General Assembly, they should
escort him directly to Kennedy airport after his 5-minute speech so he
can't turn the visit into a lobbying tour. There is nothing in the U.S.
treaty with the U.N. that says we have to sponsor international
terrorists who have come to the United States on a lobbying mission.
we know about the Islamic Republic's boy president.
23-year-old engineering student at Elm-o Sanaat University in Tehran,
Mr. Ahmadinejad played a critical role in seizing the U.S. Embassy on
Nov. 4, 1979.
former U.S. hostages have identified Mr. Ahmadinejad from
contemporaneous photographs as one of their most vicious interrogators,
according to reports first published in The Washington Times. While Mr.
Ahmadinejad has denied he was ever inside the embassy during the
hostage-crisis, evidence is mounting to the contrary.
former President Abolhassan Banisadr, who was a member of the
Revolutionary Council at the time of the hostage crisis, Mr.
Ahmadinejad was assigned guard duty inside the U.S. Embassy compound.
"This has been confirmed to me by one of the former student leaders of
the hostage-takers," Mr. Banisadr tells me.
A profile of
Mr. Ahmadinejad that appeared in a hard-line Web site run by former
Revolutionary Guards commander Mohsen Rezai, noted that the new
president "took part in all revolutionary activities" during the
hostage crisis, and was "one of the architects of the Islamic Students
Association," the group that spawned the hostage-takers and their
leaders and to whom they reported.
afterward, Mr. Ahmadinejad worked at Tehran's infamous Evin Prison,
where his tasks reportedly included using a revolver to deliver the
coup de grace to political prisoners condemned to die by the new
with Iraq broke out, he joined the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps
(IRGC) and was sent to the war front. In the mid-1980s, he helped
establish the Qods (Jerusalem) Force, the overseas strike force of the
IRGC. Their job was to spread Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's vision of
radical Islam by force throughout the world, by eliminating the
regime's enemies and helping its friends.
Force garrisoned troops in Lebanon and the Sudan, where they
established an intelligence relationship with Osama bin Laden in the
early 1990s. Qods force teams also were dispatched to assassinate
Iranian dissidents living overseas.
of these government hit teams was Iranian Kurdish dissident Abdulrahman
Qassemlou, gunned down in Vienna, Austria, on July 13, 1989.
police found the murder weapons (two automatic pistols with silencers),
and detained two of the three suspected murderers, but subsequently let
them go. All three suspects had traveled to Austria on diplomatic
years later, the Austrian Interior Ministry says it has evidence Mr.
Ahmadinejad was involved directly in the Qassemlou murder as a member
of a backup team that handled logistics and obtained the murder weapons
from the Iranian Embassy in Vienna. If the first hit team failed, Mr.
Ahmadinejad was ordered to carry out the murder himself, according to a
former member of the hit team who has now testified to the Austrian
that's not the only murder in which the new president was involved. "I
first heard his name at the time of the Bakhtiar assassination in
Paris," former President Banisadr recalls. Bakhtiar, a former prime
minister, was brutally hacked to death by a regime hit squad outside
Paris on Aug. 6, 1991. "Ahmadinejad was mentioned to me as one of those
who organized and carried out that assassination," Mr. Banisadr said.
before taking office, Mr. Ahmadinejad celebrated a new suicide martyrs
brigade being formed in Tehran while he was still mayor. The day he
took office, on Aug. 3, he announced the Islamic Republic would
continue its nuclear programs in open defiance of its commitments to
the international community.
if you must hold your nose and allow this terrorist into Turtle Bay, at
the very least have the decency to escort him to the airport the minute
his speech is over.
Timmerman is president of the Middle East Data Project Inc. and author
of "Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran."