New York City Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asked permission to lay a wreath at the World Trade Center site when he comes to New York City next week, but the request was denied, a police official said Wednesday.
Ahmadinejad, who is arriving Sunday to address the United Nations' General Assembly, had asked this month for permission to visit the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, police spokesman Paul Browne said.
The request to enter the fenced-in site was rejected because of ongoing construction there, Browne said. "Requests for the Iranian president to visit the immediate area would also be opposed by the NYPD on security grounds," Browne said.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad, told reporters Wednesday that the United States would not support Iran's attempt to use the site for a "photo op." "Iran can demonstrate its seriousness about concern with regard to terrorism by taking concrete actions," such as dropping support for Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and suspending their uranium enrichment program, he said.