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October 1st, 2012
11:44 PM ET

Ahmadinejad's photographer applies for asylum in U.S.

A cameraman who accompanied Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to New York for the U.N. General Assembly has applied for asylum in the United States, and "he's afraid to return to Iran," his attorney said Monday.

New York City-based lawyer Paul O'Dwyer, who said he is working with U.S. authorities on behalf of Hassan Golkanbhan, said his client is afraid of persecution because of his perceived political beliefs.

"He's perceived as not being a supporter, or being an opponent of the Iranian regime," O'Dwyer said. "Somebody who has betrayed the regime and who can no longer be trusted by them."

O'Dwyer said while the cameraman didn't have any suspicion cast on him before his trip to New York, "there were things that he was expected to do that he was uncomfortable with doing," and "while he was here... his position on certain things became known to the Iranian government."

When Golkanbhan's part of the Iranian delegation returned home last Thursday after Ahmadinejad's addressed the General Assembly on Wednesday, the cameraman stayed behind, O'Dwyer said.

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