Sept. 23 - Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad presents UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with a tapestry of the Iranian map as ''a token of peace and affection.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York on Sunday (September 23) ahead of the start of the 67th session of the annual General Assembly. During a photo-opportunity with UN chief Ban Ki-moon, Ahmadinejad presented a tapestry with the Iranian map to Ban. A female member of the Iranian delegation said the tapestry was "a token of peace and affection" from the Iranian people. A regular at the assembly since he took office in 2005, Ahmadinejad will give his final speech there on Wednesday (September 26) and will address a meeting on the "rule of law" on Monday (September 24). On Saturday (September 22) Iran's Fars news agency reported that the United States has denied visas to about 20 Iranian government officials hoping to attend next week's General Assembly, including two ministers. Ahmadinejad, whose second and final term in office ends next year, has used previous UN speeches to defend a nuclear program he insists is peaceful and to make verbal attacks on Israel, the United States and Europe. He has questioned the historical truth of the Holocaust and cast doubt on whether Islamist hijackers were really responsible for the attacks of September 11, 2001. Most Western envoys walk out of the U.N. chamber during his speeches, in protest. More than 100 heads of state and government are expected to gather at the UN for what is traditionally the busiest week of the year for international diplomacy. World leaders will address the 193-nation assembly from September 25-October 1.