Hassan Gol Khanban, Iranian president’s cameraman, defects to the US

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, addresses the UN General Assembly on Sept. 26, 2012, in New York City.

Hassan Gol Khanban, a cameraman in Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s entourage during his visit to New York, has defected to the United States, The Associated Press reported.

The cameraman’s lawyer confirmed he is seeking asylum, but provided no other details, the AP reported.

Ahmadinejad brought about 140 people with him on this trip to New York for his final address to the United Nations, the New York Daily News reported.

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Many of his assistants have been using their free time to shop for shampoo, soap, vitamins, Tylenol and children’s shoes at discount stores like Costco, Payless, Walgreens and Duane Reade, a drugstore, according to the New York Daily News.

“Since they are under sanctions, they can’t get this stuff,” a man assigned to work with the Iranians told the New York Daily News. “(And) their money is weak compared to the dollar.”