AFP: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will bear gifts when he attends next week’s UN General Assembly, presenting delegates a book on the allied occupation of Iran during World War II, media reported Thursday.
TEHRAN (AFP) — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will bear gifts when he attends next week’s UN General Assembly, presenting delegates a book on the allied occupation of Iran during World War II, media reported Thursday.
The Iranian leader would take copies of the book, entitled “Documents of Iran’s Occupation by the Allies during WWII,” to the UN “to present them to delegates as gifts,” Ali Shojaee, the manager of publishers Book House, was quoted as saying.
Ahmadinejad would take 1,000 copies of the work containing “a multitude of documents regarding the injustices inflicted by the allies on the Iranian people during the occupation,” he said.
Shojaee said the initiative was the brain child of the president, adding the books were prepared by the documentation department of his office based on “ample war-era documents.”
In January 2010, Ahmadinejad said he had “ordered the formation of a team to study the damage the country suffered from the invasion in order to demand compensation,” singling out Washington and London’s role in the occupation.
In 1941, Britain and then the Soviet Union invaded Iran to secure oil fields and use its railroads for the Soviets fighting the Nazi-led Axis forces in Europe.
Tehran had already announced its neutrality in the war.
Iranians suffered during the occupation with food, fuel and other essential becoming scarce amid mounting inflation especially when the needs of invading powers were given priority.
A member of the book’s compilation team, Khosrow Motazed, told the reformist newspaper Etemad that while Tehran has already been compensated by the United States, the former Soviet Union and Britain, civil claims can be still pursued.
“After the end of the Second World War, the Soviets paid Iran 11.5 tons of gold for food provisions,” said Motazed.
“The British paid 8.5 million pounds and the Americans paid us through financial assistance. Therefore we have received our reparations,” he said.
Since he became president in 2005, Ahmadinejad’s visits to the assembly have been controversial.
Last year he sparked fury when he accused the United States of staging the 9/11 attacks in his speech at the assembly.
In 2009, a dozen delegations, including the United States and France, staged a walkout to protest his fiery speech to the assembly, which they branded as “hateful and anti-Semitic.”