Columbia Students Back out of Dinner with Ahmadinejad

By Ben Fractenberg on September 20, 2011 6:49pm 

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad holds up a Bible and a Koran while addressing world leaders during the General Assembly at the United Nations in September 2010.
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad holds up a Bible and a Koran while addressing world leaders during the General Assembly at the United Nations in September 2010.
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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

MORNING SIDE HEIGHTS — A group of Columbia University students will no longer be attending a private Midtown dinner with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad they had planned to join, according to reports.

Members of the Columbia International Relations Council will not be at the Wednesday dinner with the controversial leader after news broke that the group was planning to join the event, Columbia student blog BWOG reported Tuesday.

It remained unclear whether the students were uninvited or if they nixed the plans to avoid a further stir.

Ahmadinejad spoke at Columbia in 2007, sparking heated debates among students and pro-Israel groups and causing the university's president Lee C. Bollinger to admonish the Iranian leader while introducing him before the speech.

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