Ahmadinejad Leaves for New York
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad left Tehran on Sunday for his third trip to the United States, saying the visit was a good chance to present Iran's solutions for the problems of the world.
Ahmadinejad, who is due to address the UN General Assembly in New York and hold other meetings, said he would be meeting "intellectuals and independent US politicians" on his trip to Tehran's arch foe.
During his two-day sojourn in New York, the Iranian president, who will be accompanied by a group of high-ranking officials, is also scheduled to attend bilateral talks with several of his counterparts and meet Iranians residing in the US. Ahmadinejad is also set to use a speech at a leading US university to challenge George W Bush at a time of high tensions with Washington over his country's pursuit of nuclear technology.
The invitation by New York's Columbia University to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is attracting growing criticism from the US hawks ahead of his arrival on Sunday.
Meetings with the survivors and bereaved families of the 9-11 incident, journalists and critics of the Bush administration are also included in Ahmadinejad's itinerary.