Jewish Journal

New York City hotels should refuse to host Ahmadinejad this year

by Karmel Melamed

August 25, 2009 | 11:10 am

During the past three years the Grand Hyatt Hotel and the InterContinental Hotel in New York City have done business with the Iranian regime by hosting and housing Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his visits to the United Nations. This September 15th with Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York coming up, these hotels need to be held accountable for their immoral business practices. American businesses such as these hotels have not woken up to the reality that accepting blood-stained money from the Iranian government that has sponsored international terrorism and pursues nuclear weapons is not a good thing! In an era when most U.S. and Western companies have increasingly been active in moral corporate practices, the Grand Hyatt Hotel and the InterContinental Hotel in New York must be reminded by average individuals to refrain from engaging in business activities with entities like the Iran regime that are criminal.

You may ask why the Grand Hyatt Hotel and the InterContinental Hotel in New York City are being targeted by this blog and other organizations? Well it seems as if both of these major New York City hotels have had a sickening long record of doing business with the Iranian regime and welcoming Ahmadinejad along with his cohorts every time they come to the Big Apple. The following are just a few snippets from articles chronicling how Ahmadinejad hosted lavish parties in the past at these hotels for Iranians and journalists “sympathetic” to Iran’s regime:

The banquet hall of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in mid-town Manhattan had the feel of an extravagant Persian wedding on Wednesday night. A crowd of over one thousand guests, dressed in formal attire, sat around tightly packed tables munching on Iranian delicacies and chit-chatting casually in Farsi. But the occasion was a dinner hosted by Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The guest list, all Iranian-Americans living in the tri-state area, had been drawn up from the database of Iran’s mission to the United Nations and consulate in Washington D.C. Extreme security measures had to be taken so Mr. Ahmadinejad could host his dinner party at the Grand Hyatt that night. Dozens of burly American secret service members, dressed in plain suits with an ear-piece plugged into one ear, swarmed the hotel lobby and the banquet hall standing shoulder to shoulder with Iranian bodyguards. Elevators to the event’s floor were shut down. Uniformed New York City police officers were also present in abundance. Police dogs sniffed around the area and at least 20 police cars lined up outside the hotel, in addition to an ambulance and a fire truck. This was in case of an attack against Mr. Ahmadinejad; one police officer said they had taken shifts securing the hotel all day long”.

- Wall Street Journal, My Dinner With Ahmadinejad, Farnaz Fassihi, September 28, 2008)

The invitation was on creamy stationery with fancy calligraphy: The Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran “requests the pleasure” of my company to dine with H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The dinner is at the Intercontinental Hotel - with names carefully written out at all the place settings around a rectangular table. There are about 50 of us, academics and journalists mostly. There’s Brian Williams across the room, and Christiane Amanpour a few seats down. And at a little after 8 pm, on a day when he has already addressed the U.N., the evening after his confrontation at Columbia, a bowing and smiling Mahmoud Ahmadinejad glides into the room”.

- Time Magazine, My Dinner With Ahmadinejad, Richard Stengel, September 26, 2007

The warmer tone colored most of the approximately two-hour meeting, held at the Barclay Intercontinental Hotel in midtown Manhattan. Ahmadinejad then hosted a meeting for American religious figures from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim groups, and tonight he will meet with policy watchers and former U.S. officials in a meeting organized by the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations. The unusual efforts appear aimed at de-demonizing the hard-line Ahmadinejad’s image in the West, and particularly in the United States, which is leading an effort to seek economic sanctions at the U.N. for Iran’s defiance of a Security Council order to halt the enrichment of uranium.”

- U.S. News & World Report, Iran’s Ahmadinejad: Can’t We Just Be Friends?, Thomas Omestad, September 20, 2006

It is disgusting how these hotels could welcome or even allow international criminals like Ahmadinejad who murder their own citizens, sponsor terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah and also seek to develop weapons of mass destruction into their hotel! We as concerned U.S. citizens who abhor human rights violations committed by Iran’s regime need to speak out against hotels like the Grand Hyatt and the InterContinental in New York City for permitting such vile men from having any kind of comfort while they are in the U.S. If anything Ahmadinejad and his goons should stay in the Iranian Mission to the U.N. as a testament to his international isolation and responsible entities like these New York hotels should decline to host the Iranian delegation. We as concerned Americans CANNOT allow members of Iran’s regime to have luxurious comforts in light of their violent crack downs on protestors in Iran after that country’s elections. The regime in Iran and its followers must get the message that they are NOT welcomed in the U.S. as they continue their policies of murdering their political dissidents, state sponsored terrorism and pursuing nuclear weapons.

With Ahmadinejad’s September 15th visit to New York fast approaching this year, the New York-based “United Against Nuclear Iran” (UANI) organization is one of the few non-profits in the country urging every Americans to send a message to these companies asking them to stop doing business with the Iranian regime.

Those interested in more information about their efforts to hold these hotels accountable, can visit: http://www.capwiz.com/unitedagainstnucleariran/issues/alert/?alertid=13730726&type=CU

Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City
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Karmel Melamed is an internationally-published freelance journalist based in Southern California.

Since 2000, Melamed has specialized in covering the growing influential...

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