A sign marks the spot for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at UN HQ - AFP - September 25, 2012.
A sign marks the spot for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ahead of the annual UN General Assembly meeting in New York, September 25, 2012. Photo by AFP
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A television cameraman who came to New York last week with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has defected and is seeking asylum in the United States, news reports said Monday.

Paul O'Dwyera, a U.S. lawyer representing Hassan Gol Khanban, confirmed late Sunday that he had been hired to assist the cameraman, but declined to provide other details, the reports said.

Ahmadinejad delivered a speech to the UN General Assembly in New York last Wednesday in what was said to be his last appearance at the forum.

Addressing the UN General Assembly on the Jewish day of atonement Yom Kippur, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that "uncivilized Zionists" are threatening Iran with a military strike, and also said that such threats from big powers are designed to force nations into submission.

His speech touched on issues he has raised in previous UN appearances, such as suggesting there should be an "independent fact-finding team" established to discover the "truth" behind the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and complaining about the "hegemonic policies and actions of world Zionism."

Western sanctions have been imposed on Iran over its nuclear program, in attempt to discourage the Islamic Republic from perusing nuclear weapons. Iran rejected the International Atomic Energy Agency's demand it would prove that its nuclear intentions are peaceful. A new round of sanctions drafted by the EU join the U.S. in targeting Iranian trade and financial institutions.