When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to speak in New York at the U.N. last week, he brought some 140 Iranians in his entourage.
It seems he went home with just 139.
Ahmadinenjad’s cameraman, Hassan Gol Khaban, apparently stayed behind and is seeking asylum in the U.S., the Associated Press reports, citing New York lawyer Paul O’Dwyer.
There was no immediate word on the cameraman’s whereabouts, the AP adds.
Even before word of the defection, the large Iranian delegation had drawn notice. Many members were spotted stocking up at cost-conscious stores like Costco, Walgreens and Payless shoes, New York’s Daily News reported.
Iran is facing increasingly tough international sanctions over its nuclear program, and the punitive measures have contributed to high inflation and a rapidly depreciating currency.
Ahmadinejad’s U.N. speeches have always attracted attention due to his often controversial statements. This year’s speech, delivered last Wednesday, was more subdued, though he did call for a “new order” that would not be led by a “bullying” U.S.