Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to pay surprise visit to the US

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be in the US next week, as the UN has confirmed he will speak at next week's nuclear conference in New York.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is questioning Ahmadinejad’s somewhat surprise decision to be there, given Iran's track record of violating its nuclear obligations.

It looks almost certain that both the Iranian President and Iran’s delegation will be granted American visas to participate in the conference that starts in the UN headquarters on Monday.

It is clear that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will try to convince the US and the international community that Iran’s nuclear programme is meant for peaceful purposes and domestic uranium enrichment means no threat to the international community.

The president of the Islamic Republic’s visit will coincide with the US-led push for a fourth round of sanctions against Iran. The US and its Western allies believe the Iranian nuclear program is instead secretly being used for building nuclear weapons – something Iran has consistently denied.

Iran was not invited to the Nuclear Security Summit that took place in Washington DC a few weeks ago where it would have had the opportunity to speak to the heads of 47 states that attended the conference.

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