Six presidents of universities in iran issued a harsh condemnation of President Lee Bollinger’s words and behavior toward President Ahmadinejad of Iran. “Your insult to president of a country,” they said, “with a population of 70 million and 7000 years of civilization and culture is an academic milieu is shameful.” Professor Kazem Jelai, who is also a member of Iran’s parliament, bluntly stated: “The rhetoric he used was not becoming an academic and a host.” The six presidents posed several questions to America including the following:
1. Why did the United States overthrow the government of Dr. Mohammad Mosaddeq in 1953?
2. Why did the United States support Saddam Hussein’s war against Iran even though he had used chemical warfare against his own people?
3. Why doesn’t the United States recognize Hamas which won a democratic election?
4. What about the long term friendship between the Bush family and the Bin Laden family?
President Lee Bollinger won accolades from the American media, but it is doubtful if the world’s media had the same feeling. Bollinger invited a president of a nation and then proceeded to insult the person he invited. Many people in the world regard his behavior as in poor taste. It is doubtful if any American official will respond to questions posed by Iranian academics. That is a sad commentary.