Iran: Ahmadinejad is 'Socrates of third millenium', says president's office

Tehran, 20 Sept. (AKI) - A research centre run by the office of the president of Iran has released a 15-page document in which they define President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the "Socrates of the Third Millenium".

The document has been released just days before Ahmadinejad is due to visit New York. The Iranian president will arrive in the city on Sunday to address the United Nations General Assembly.

In the document, various speeches and letters written by the Iranian president are analysed and it concludes that "Ahmadinejad reasons and discusses exactly as Socrates did in ancient Greece, by disarming other speakers and through his sharp reasoning."

"It's mainly the irony used by the president in his dialogue with foreigners," said the document refering to letters Ahmadinejad had written to Pope Benedict XVI, US president George Bush and German president Angela Merkel.

Just ahead of Ahmadinejad's visit to New York, the president's cultural advisor, Javad Shamaghdari said that the Iranian government is willing to collaborate with the American director Oliver Stone to make a documentary on the Iranian president. Ahmadinejad had initially rejected a request to do the project by the Oscar-winning director.

"Oliver Stone should visit Iran and familiarise himself with the reality of the country, before beginning his documentary of Ahmadinejad," said Shamaghdari.

In July, another advisor to the president, Mehdi Kalhor , told the media that Ahmadinejad had refused the offer by Oliver Stone "eventhough the director is considered to be against the current US president."

"The West shows a distorted image of Iranian culture" and a documentary done by Stone could offer the public something different," said Shamaghdari.

Oliver Stone has already done documentaries about Fidel Castro and the Israeli-Palestine conflict.

Also ahead of Ahmadinejad's visit to New York, the authorities in the city turned down a request by the president's office to visit Ground Zero, the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the city.

New York police said his request was rejected on security grounds as well as because construction is taking place at the site.

Ahmadinejad's plan to visit Ground Zero angered critics who were outraged by the idea that the leader of a country Washington considers a state sponsor of terrorism, would visit a "hallowed" ground.


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