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Ahmadinejad to speak at General Assembly

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(JTA) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will speak at the United Nations General Assembly.

U.N. officials confirmed the Islamic Republic leader’s attendance at the annual New York gathering to the Washington Post on Tuesday.

Despite his controversial re-election in June that led to weeks of demonstrations, the officials told the Post that Ahmadinejad will be accorded the same honors due any head of state.

The visit will come a week after a Sept. 15 deadline set by the Obama administration and other Western nations for Iran to accept an invitation to hold talks on its nuclear program.

Ahmadinejad has attended every General Assembly since he was elected in 2005. The visits, and his speeches at the event, generally have been controversial.  

"The president’s trip to New York is still on his agenda and relevant officials here in Tehran are working on the necessary preparations," Ali-Akbar Javanfekr, Ahmadinejad’s media adviser, told Reuters. "The date of his arrival there and the length of his visit depend on coordination between Tehran and the United Nations. This is the same for the day of his speech."

Representatives of six countries trying to address concerns about Iran’s nuclear program — Security Council members the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China, along with Germany — are scheduled to meet Wednesday in Germany, according to reports.
 

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