Four Iranians Arrested Near U.N.
Sep. 05, 2000
NEW YORK (AP) _ Four Iranians were arrested over the weekend for throwing yellow paint in separate incidents near the United Nations, where 150 world leaders are gathering this week for the U.N. Millennium Summit. One incident involved the president of Iran, police said Monday.
It wasn't clear if the incidents were related, but a spokesman for the National Council of Resistance of Iran _ which bills itself as Iran's parliament-in-exile _ said yellow is ``the color of dismay, the color of disapproval,'' said Alireza Jararzadeh.
Iranian President Mohammed Khatami ``is so hated in Iran and outside of Iran because of his abhorrent record of human rights,'' Jararzadeh said Monday.
Similar paint attacks were carried out earlier this year on Iranian officials in Davos, Switzerland, where world leaders gathered for the World Economic Forum.
Abdul Reza Eskandari, 44, was arrested Sunday afternoon for throwing paint at a car carrying Khatami. The attack happened on the east side of Manhattan, shortly after the Iranian delegation's motorcade left the United Nations building, said Det. Madeleine Galindo, a police spokeswoman.
In a second incident, Sedigh Hamid, 42, and Mohammed Reza, 44, were arrested Sunday evening for throwing yellow paint inside the lobby of the United Nations Plaza Hotel _ where the Iranian delegation is staying, said Officer Guy Braun.
In a third incident Sunday, 44-year-old Akbar Parizanani was arrested for throwing yellow paint in a plastic balloon at the outside of the hotel, Braun said. Parizanani was taken to Bellevue Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation because he appeared to be emotionally disturbed, he said.
Also near the hotel, Hojjat Hassany was arrested for disorderly conduct after he got into an argument and scuffle with several people.
Charges in the first three incidents were not immediately known, Braun said.
Khatami was at the United Nations on Monday meeting with several hundred Iranian-Americans.
A call seeking comment about the paint attacks from the Iranian mission to the United Nations was not immediately returned.
There were also three separate bomb threats against the hotel, but the suspicious packages were found to be harmless, police said.
At least 91 demonstrations are planned for the gathering of world leaders, which runs from Wednesday through Friday. It is expected to attract more than 150 heads of state and government _ the largest number of world leaders ever gathered in one city in history, said Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik.