Heck no, you must go. A luxury Manhattan hotel is calling off a banquet for next week after it learned Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was planning to attend and give a speech, according to a published report.
Representatives for the New York Helmsley Hotel abruptly called off long-time plans for the banquet after United Against Nuclear Iran's security detail told them that Ahmadinejad was going to be in the building, reports The New York Post.
The Iranian president is going to be in town for a meeting of the UN General Assembly next week. Helmsley executives had no idea that his stay in the United States would include a stint in their house, and when UANI informed them, they said it wouldn't happen.
An Iranian student organization had booked the hotel months ago, Howard Rubenstein, spokesman for Helmsley Properties, told the Post.
"As soon as Helmsley corporate management learned of the possibility of either the Iranian Mission or President Ahmadinejad holding a function at the New York Helmsley Hotel, they immediately ordered the cancellation of that function," Rubenstein told the paper. "Neither the Iranian Mission nor President Ahmadinejad is welcome at any Helmsley facility. The Helmsley organization is grateful to United Against Nuclear Iran for bringing this matter to its attention so that appropriate action could be taken."
UANI President Mark Wallace applauded Helmsley's decision to cancel the banquet, writing in a letter to hotel general manager Mark Briskin that doing business with Ahmadinejad would equate to "accepting blood money," reports the Post.
Wallace's organization went so far as to threaten to boycott Helmsley properties if they had allowed the Ahmadinejad event to take place, the paper reports.