Columbia Faces Protests over Iranian President

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is set to speak at Columbia University in New York. Columbia's invitation has faced criticism from politicians, religious groups and other organizations. But the university has not backed down.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

Demonstrators marched outside Columbia University yesterday to protest the arrival of Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in New York. Ahmadinejad speaks today at Columbia today and at the U.N. General Assembly later this week. He says he wants to give Americans a chance to hear a different voice during his visit. Television viewers got a preview last night on CBS's "60 Minutes." The Iranian leader, through an interpreter, denied Tehran is building a nuclear bomb.

(Soundbite of TV show, "60 Minutes")

President MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD (Iran): (Through translator) In political relations right now, the time of the bomb is past.

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