Controversy Comes To NYC Ahead Of UN General Assembly

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The United Nations General Assembly is still two days away, but it’s already drawing world leaders and international criticism to New York.

Among the world leaders gathering is the always controversial Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and he’s booked a room at Manhattan’s Warwick Hotel.

WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman On The Story

Battered white concrete barricades clashed with the ornate golden marble entrance to the hotel Friday – extra protection one would assume is there for next week, when Iran’s dictator arrives.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (file / credit: ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (file / credit: ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

Not everybody is happy with the idea.

“It’s completely irresponsible for them to be accommodating the leader of a criminal regime that is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism which is killing U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and which is illegally pursuing nuclear weapons,” Nathan Carleton of United Against A Nuclear Iran (UANI) told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

The head of the organization, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Mark D. Wallace, sent the Warwick a note demanding it reconsider.

“This is not just an issue of someone who makes extreme or inflammatory statements. There are several world leaders who are guilty of that. The main issue is that this is a regime that’s the world largest state sponsor of terrorism, including Al-Qaida,” said Carleton.

The advocacy group charges that in putting out the welcome mat the hotel is accepting blood money.

“When a business supports them, does business with them, takes their money, that business is empowering the regime by giving it legitimacy, giving it a lifeline” Carleton told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

When the notorious Iranian leader used the Warwick Hotel for a press conference last year, there were bomb dogs and barricades and enough protection agents to fill a Broadway theater. This year, it’s going to be a bigger show since he’s going to be a guest there.

“It’s offensive, it’s inappropriate and in poor taste,” Carleton said. He suggests Ahmadinejad stay with Iran’s mission to the U.N.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been put in an uncomfortable position of defending Ahmadinejad’s right to pitch his text wherever he wants.

“You cannot have the United Nations here if you’re going to tell them they can’t have one of their member states or somebody they invite,” he said.

Even though security for Ahmadinejad will cost the city a pretty penny — last year he had 30 police officers and two firefighters assigned to him full time — the mayor says the city spends the money because of the U.N.’s importance to our economy.

“It doesn’t mean you endorse it. It doesn’t mean you like it,” Bloomberg said. “You’d prefer something else but the truth of the matter is, if you want the United Nations — and we really do this is a very big part of our economy. You just can’t say no.”

New Yorkers have their own views.

“You claim you don’t like American ways, American views but you want to stay in our hotels? I don’t think so,” Jackie Camara said.

“He’s not what we stand for, especially on the heels of the 9/11 anniversary,” RaPorlph Ladolfi said. “I don’t approve at all.”

Some, however, do side with Bloomberg.

“You have the right to say whatever you want, it’s America, we’re a free society, you have to respect people’s rights even if you vehemently disagree with them,” Brandon Russell said. “It’s America, he can do what he wants.”

There was no comment this morning from the Warwick.

An NYPD spokesman said Ahmadinejad will have a special protection just as he does every year.

Besides Ahmadinejad, the Palestinian observer to the U.N. also brought controversy. Riyad Mansour escorted a symbolic “U.N. seat” into New York, referencing the controversial decision by President Mahmoud Abbas to ask for Palestinan statehood, even though talks with Israel are stalled.

Israeli Consul General Ido Aharoni told CBS 2’s Lou Young the move worries him because without a negotiated deal it’s premature.

“If the bar of expectation is going to be raised to an unrealistic level by the Palestinians, inevitably it will create disappointment and may lead, sadly, to a third round of violence between Israelis and Palestinians,” said Aharoni.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be here next week as week along with President Obama, who plans to meets with him ahead of a confrontation over statehood for Palestine.

The U.S. is expected to veto a statehood resolution if passed, and indications are the Palestinians may be willing to accept an intermediate step of becoming a “nonmember” state.

“If one road is blocked we will follow another,” said Mansour.

What do you think? Should Ahmadinejad be allowed to stay at a luxury hotel or be forced to stay elsewhere? Sound off below!

More from Alex Silverman
  • Roxanne Ganji

    Stop allowing this terrorist, hostage taker coming and going as he pleases every year. Would they allow an American to go and stay in aluxury hotel in IRAN???? So what happenned to snctions. When will they release the two innocent American hikers??? Shame onthe Warwick for letting this holocaust denier stay at their hotel.

  • MaggieLiz

    Of course. We are a democracy and free country

  • US kisses the Taliban A$$

    While you are at… can invite the top associates of Bin laden boys to stay at that hotel too!

  • Meme Meyagi

    there are 7 million mooslime terrorists in usa. what is being done about it?.

  • jant1215

    I am sure your parents are proud to have raise an idiot like you.

  • Gloria Guerriera

    I think we should throw the whole UN and it’s building out of NYC and the USA.Let them set up shop elsewhere. The mayor brags that it helps NYC’s economy. He neglects to mention the cost of protecton services not only to the feds but also to NYC. There is the cost of parking summonses not paid by member nations and the sheer inconvenience of traffic and gridlock when these clowns are in town

  • JustSaying

    Keep your friends close but your enimes closer…

  • Pat Johnson

    All the Arab countries and China behead their enemies after a sham trial.
    Iran is not alone. this is just another horror amongst the horribles of this world.
    Should we ban all from the above regions from renting a hotel?
    Feel free to add other countries on the list that come freely here that prevent
    civil rights ,Africa anyone.

    • faco

      hmmmmm Africa anyone? where do you think Libya is?

  • Salome

    The United Nations should be in a neutral country, not the U.S.

    The Palestinians should get their U.N. recognition the same way the Jews did in 1947, and Obama should recognize Palestine as quickly as Truman recognized Israel.

  • KPMc

    “Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been put in an uncomfortable position of defending Ahmadinejad’s right to pitch his text wherever he wants”


    • I am U

      If we are a country of “Freedom of Speech” & tolerance, we should put our money where our mouth is, otherwise we’re no better than the dictatorships and other in-human administrations.
      Also we have forgotten the opposition to Isreal applying for UN membership , so why oppose the Palestinian application, when most of the land that Isreal is founded on was originally from an Arab nation.

    • KPMc

      It’s tent… the phrase is ‘pitch his tent’, which is a play on what he wanted to do last time he was here, pitch a tent in Central Park.

      pitch his text? What does that even mean?

      • Allen

        Qaddafi pitched a tent, not Ahmadinejad.

  • NeverForget

    They should accommodate him in the same manner he and his cronies accommodated our embassy personnel back in 1979: lock him up in the basement, blindfold him, and keep him there for 444 days. Let’s see how he likes it.

    • cygon

      GOOD IDEA !!!!

  • Voice of Reason

    Every time I read comments about such issues, I really get shocked by just how some Americans have become so ignorant and full of hate just like those they claim to be hateful. If the hate is not based on religion, its based on skin color or culture. What happened to tolerance? Also, don’t we rationalize and realize that he will be here U.N business; therefore, we cannot refuse him to stay in a hotel. If we do not want the U.N here, then let’s kick it out and i am sure it would be happy to go to Geneva or London. This is the reason why I think it is inappropriate for the U.N to be in a country that has such an active and controversial foreign policy like the U.S. Until then, let all that are full of hate for no proven reason shut up.

    • jant1215

      Voice of Reason? You mean voice of stupidity. Do you want people to LOVE a tyrant? A Murderer? A terrorist? If not wanting this poor excuse of a human being in my city is hatred–then YES, I HATE him! Allowing this type of low life to go about his business and give him credibility is disgraceful!

  • George

    One wonders when he yells fire in the crowded theater of U.N. if; the NYFD detail assigned to him will hose him down to prevent his incendiary mouth from spreading the flames of hate.

  • Ally

    Been counting?

  • Jerry Frey

    Surprise – Turkey could emerge as the Big Winner as a result of the Arab Spring.

  • Chico

    I think Amadinejad should come to the South Bronx. Me and the boys will be glad to put him up for a few days. There’s a streetlight that could use a new decoration. Don’t worry about a thing. We’ll leave an indelible mark on Mr. Amadinejad, something he’s never had before.

  • Meme Meyagi

    there are 7 million mooslime terrorists in usa. what is being done about it?

  • andrew

    I would rather he spend the money on a hotel in NY than on buying materials for the production of weapons

  • Art

    This guy is a joke with waning power. The real story is that Palestine will gain the recognition it deserves. Remember – even the State Dept. told Harry Truman that recognizing Israel would be a disaster for the U.S. Yet he took the high road and greatly helped Israel gain international recognition as a sovereign state. The same is true for Palestine – we should tell AIPAC to take a hike and do the right thing. They may own Congress, they do not own the world.

  • cat on a hot tin roof

    The “rag head” can stay at a Motel 6. They’ll keep the light on for him.

  • ProFromDover

    Maybe the budbugs will get him.

  • Midtown Apt

    He should be allowed to stay wherever he wants, as long as it’s not on my block. Same goes for Netanyahu, Bill Clinton, and anyone else who has a huge ego and security team to match. Stay away.

    How about if the City builds some high-security hotel rooms on Governor’s Island. Maybe even move the entire UN out there. It’ll simplify security — give them their own heliport, ferry dock, etc. — and give us many fewer traffic nightmares.

  • raf

    Bloomberg for President as he is the only one who makes sense….

    • nottajew


    • Wake Up

      Tiy must CERTAINLY be a rich Zionists who wants the rest of us dead!

  • TJ

    Be a great time for an imbalanced NYPD member having a bad day to have a momentary lapse of judgement if you know what I’m sayin ; )
    “What, it was dark out…………….”

    • Wake Up

      Sure! as long as he had that lapse of judgment against a ZIONIST!

  • JD

    Arrest him on espionage charges!! He was Hiking in New York!

  • LiberalsAreEvil

    Why is this demon being permitted even to set his filthy foot on US soil? Something is really wrong here. Is Obama going to have a beer with him?

    • Wake Up

      ZIONISTS are evil. Get out of ISRAEL and the world will be at peace! Give it back and stop terrorizing arabs in the Gaza strip ! ! !

      • Ally

        And Hitler and Ahmadinejad are what? Good?

      • Haji Jihad

        Islam the religion of Piece. Get a gun or a bomb and kill everyone around you in the name of allah. It doesn’t matter if they’re muslim, Christian, or Jewish. We’ll kill them all.

  • Michael Panella

    Can’t we just shot his plan down as it crosses the Atlantic? Who would miss him?

  • Dovid

    They greeted him at Durban Two
    The first batter at the plate
    And there he’ll be at Durban Three
    To spread more lies and hate.

    Come meet the man who leads Iran
    Ahmadinejad’s his name
    And just like Hitler hated Jews
    He hates them just the same.

    To say his name it might be hard
    But right there on his business card
    He tells us what he’d do

    He’d like to take the Jewish state
    And wipe it off the map
    So he builds his bomb and we procrastinate
    Walking straight into the trap.

    The Holocaust he does deny
    He’s plotting the next genocide
    It’s time to stand and take a side
    So which side are you on?

    Yes he’s welcomed as a head of state
    In cities the world around
    While back at home they demonstrate
    To bring his regime down.

    • Wacko Jacko

      You must work at Maimonides.

    • Jasmine Mayo

      love this comment…

  • diver

    Didn’t Quakdaffi leave a tent at one of Trumps properties when he was last visiting? Maybe he can stay there?

  • Tom

    The guy making the complaint has no idea what he is talking about. Iran’s Shi’ite government is a mortal enemy of the fundamentalist Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda wants to destroy all Islam that isn’t Sunni.





    • Michael H.

      Ahmadinejad agreed to their release. It’s Iran’s judiciary that is holding things up right now.

      • Midtown Apt

        Then maybe our judiciary should do likewise to Mr. Ahmadinejad.

  • I don't care!!

    I really don’t care about this non story. If we don’t want World Leaders staying in the city we should tell the United Nations to leave. We don’t need them here anyway.

  • Li'er

    I think we should all go there and spit in his face. Nobody should ever stay at the Warwick as a boycott to their selfishness. I hope he gets run over by a FDNY firetruck while here

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