New Yorkers, from the mayor to hoteliers, are hardly rolling out the red carpet for Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who plans to attend a Monday conference at the United Nations.
“Look, I disagree with the guy on probably everything he’s ever said—I don’t care for him,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said at a news conference.
Mr. Ahmadinejad has upset New Yorkers before. In 2007, during a speech at Columbia University, he infamously raised eyebrows when he declared “we don’t have homosexuals” in Iran.
During his last visit to New York in September, the Iranian president stayed at the Intercontinental Barclay. Herve Houdre, general manager of the hotel, confirmed that another request had been made for the president to stay there this time around, but he didn’t know yet if Mr. Ahmadinejad would be a guest. He declined to comment further.
Starting Thursday afternoon, the group United Against Nuclear Iran asked the general managers of 35 city hotels to refuse to play host to Mr. Ahmadinejad and his delegation.
Mr. Bloomberg said that law enforcement officials will ensure Mr. Ahmadinejad safety. “But that doesn’t mean I’m going to see him or have to pay him any special respect, or anything else,” Mr. Bloomberg said.