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Columbia students disinvited from Ahmadinejad dinner

JTA

September 21, 2011 | 11:41 am

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad smiles as he attends to speak with media before leaving Tehran's Mehrabad airport to attend the 66th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York on Sept. 19. Photo by REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad smiles as he attends to speak with media before leaving Tehran's Mehrabad airport to attend the 66th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York on Sept. 19. Photo by REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

Members of a Columbia University international relations group will not attend a dinner with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after the invitation was withdrawn.

The invitation to about one dozen members of the Columbia International Relations Council and Association was rescinded Monday by the Iranian mission to the United Nations due to the extensive and negative media coverage, the Columbia Spectator reported.

The dinner is still scheduled to take place on Wednesday evening. Other Columbia students, from the university’s School of International and Public Affairs, are still planning to attend the dinner, the Spectator reported.

Some Columbia students had organized an on-campus protest called “Just Say No to Ahma(dinner)jad.”

The university is not involved with the dinner.

Ahmadinejad is in New York to participate in the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. His controversial address at Columbia in 2007 embroiled the campus in a debate over freedom of speech and academic freedom.

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