Anger at Iran leader's NY speech
( BBC ) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is due to speak at New York's Columbia University, despite protests in the US.
Many Americans say he should not have been invited to speak, with local media calling him "evil" and a "madman".
The US accuses Iran of seeking to build a nuclear bomb and arming insurgents in Iraq - Tehran rejects the charges.
Mr Ahmadinejad has been denied a visit Ground Zero, with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice saying that "it would have been a travesty".
"This is somebody who is the president of a country that is probably the greatest sponsor - state sponsor - of terrorism," Ms Rice told CNBC television.
The Iranian leader is in New York to attend the UN General Assembly, where he is due to speak on Tuesday.
Speaking to US media, he has said that Iran is not heading for war with the US and Tehran has no need of nuclear bombs.
'Evil has landed'
New York tabloids - and several Jewish groups in the US - have condemned Mr Ahmadinejad's scheduled appearance at Columbia, where he is due to speak and answer questions.
The New York Daily News's front page headline on Monday read "The Evil Has Landed", while the New York Post described Mr Ahmadinejad as "Madman Iran Prez".
Dozens of protesters gathered outside the university on Sunday with placards saying: "Don't give a platform to hate," and calling the Iranian leader a "Hitler wannabe".
Mr Ahmadinejad has called in the past for an end to the Israeli state and described the Holocaust as a "myth".
Columbia President Lee Bollinger on Monday defended the university's invitation, saying it was a question of free speech and academic freedom.
"It's extremely important to know who the leaders are of countries that are your adversaries," Mr Bollinger told ABC's "Good Morning America".
"To watch them to see how they think, to see how they reason or do not reason. To see whether they're fanatical, or to see whether they are sly," he added.
Tickets to the event were snatched up within an hour of becoming available.