UN General Assembly

In 2012, United Against Nuclear Iran led protests against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Iranian delegation during their September visit to New York for the UN General Assembly (UNGA). UANI’s protest and advocacy activities were featured in a number of media outlets, including CNN, the Associated Press, Reuters, Inside Edition, the New York Daily News, PIX 11 News, Fox 5 News, CBS New York, Agence France Presse, and the New York Post, as well as by local television stations nationwide. Additional information about UANI's advocacy and protest activities and related media coverage can be found on the UANI Hotels Campaign page.

As in previous years, UANI broke the news about where Ahmadinejad was staying – the Warwick New York Hotel – and alerted UANI supporters, the media and the public. As a result, the Warwick Hotel and its General Manager, Drew Schlesinger, were widely condemned and exposed to negative coverage in the media and severe reputational harm.

For the second straight year, UANI relocated its headquarters to the Warwick during Ahmadinejad's visit in order to better coordinate protest activities and glean first-hand information about the whereabouts and activities of the delegation.

We are pleased to report that our activities resulted in negative publicity and damage to the Warwick’s brand and reputation. Such damage is entirely justified and appropriate. No respectable hotel or venue would willfully host the leader of a criminal regime who flouts international law by developing nuclear weapons, ruthlessly violates the human rights of his people, heads the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and uses the UN platform to call for the elimination of Israel, cast doubt on the September 11 attacks and support a new world order to replace the United States. Moreover, no legitimate hotel would willfully subject its guests to repeated searches and pat downs, or create a situation where guests would be physically accosted in the lobby by aggressive Iranian security officers. The Warwick's greed had other significant ramifications for the public. NYPD and U.S. Secret Service were forced to provide security at the Warwick at significant U.S. taxpayer expense.

Clearly, no venue should be providing accommodation for such a leader without incurring severe reputational and financial consequences. The foregoing protest activities, in combination with UANI's unique UNGA advertising campaigns drew attention to the Warwick's inappropriate decision to host Ahmadinejad and highlighted the consensus opinion among Americans that Ahmadinejad and other Iranian regime representatives are not welcome in New York.

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In the lead up to Ahmadinejad's arrival, UANI secured commitments from New York hotels to not host Ahmadinejad as part of its annual Hotels Campaign. UANI also unveiled a billboard in Times Square, as well as a mobile billboard and bicycle billboards to be driven through Midtown Manhattan outside the Warwick Hotel.

2012 News

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I am terribly sad. Throughout my professional and personal life, whenever I was unsure of what to say or think, my friend, the Senator, was always there. He had a unique gift for finding the right words to match any feeling or emotion, often with humor, a smile, and laughter. Now, as I write this without his guidance and kind wisdom, I feel his absence deeply. Having the Senator by my side was one of life's greatest gifts to me, and I know I'm not alone in feeling profoundly touched by him. That was the Senator's great gift—he touched and guided so many of us, either personally or through his example. --Ambassador Mark D. Wallace