Iran university invites Bush for Q&A session

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TEHRAN, Oct 2 (Reuters) A university in Iran has invited US President George W Bush to visit and discuss issues including terrorism and the Holocaust, a week after his Iranian counterpart visited a university in New York.

The invitation from Ferdowsi University in the northeastern city of Mashhad was to attend a question and answer session with students and professors, Fars News Agency said. Human rights and other issues could also be raised, it said.

Iranian media and politicians have reacted angrily to the way Ahmadinejad was treated when he held a speech at Columbia University in New York on Sept 24.

Introducing him, Columbia University President Lee Bollinger called Ahmadinejad a ''petty and cruel dictator'' and said his Holocaust denials suggested he was either ''brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated.'' Iranian newspapers and state television have hailed Ahmadinejad's visit to New York, including also an address at the United Nations General Assembly last Tuesday, as a triumph.

Iran is embroiled in a deepening standoff with its old foe, the United States, over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme. The West suspects Iran is seeking to build bombs, a charge Tehran rejects. They are also at loggerheads over the situation in Iraq.

Reuters MP VP0500

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