Columbia Students May Dine With New York’s Favorite “Petty and Cruel Dictator” This Month

Famed international tyrant Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — along with his zany, fun-loving entourage of authoritarian lackeys — is headed to New York City later this month for the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. While he’s in town, the Iranian president (and brazen opponent of social/religious freedom and neck ties the world over) is out to find some good eats and some better company.

For reasons not entirely clear as of this writing, Ahmadinejad decided that the best way to facilitate these things was to pop open his rolodex and give the Columbia International Relations Council and Association a call.

According to the Columbia Spectator, members of the organization recently received an email inviting them to a private dinner with Ahmadinejad on Sept. 21 in Midtown (the most hellish and oppressive of all Manhattan neighborhoods). Though the engagement is still described as “tentative,” it’s not hard to imagine the news drawing a negative response from members of the Columbia community — which, by all accounts, went a little bit ballistic last time the guy was in town.

Still, CIRCA is pretty pumped:

Members of the group were informed over the summer that they might have the opportunity to bring 15 students to dinner with [Ahmadinejad], whose views on Israel, human rights, and homosexuality have drawn sharp criticism.

[CIRCA vice president of academics Tim] Chan said that so far he hasn’t heard any concerns from members of the group.

“Everyone was really enthusiastic,” Chan said. “They’re thrilled to have this opportunity.”

Which is only natural. Remember how much fun this was last time?