Iran's President in the U.N. Spotlight


“Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be in town next week to attend the annual opening of the U.N. General Assembly -- his eighth trip to New York since becoming Iran’s president in 2005. The calculated timing of his announcement that U.S. hikers Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal will soon be released guarantees that a full-out media circus will accompany his visit,” says Suzanne DiMaggio, Asia Society’s Vice President for Global Policy Programs. “What’s different about this visit is that he will arrive in a much weaker position than any time in the past due to his much publicized rift with Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the conservative clerical and political class. Ahmadinejad's political future remains unclear, but with two years left in his presidency, it’s far too early to count him out. He still retains a strong base, particularly in Iran’s provinces where his populist politics and economic policies have resonated.”

Suzanne, who is based in New York, directs the Asia Society’s Iran Initiative. To arrange an interview, contact the Asia Society communications department at 212-327-9271 or