18 June 2009

Where is Ahmadinejad?

Ahmadinejad spots Mousavi out of the corner of his right eye

One thing that has puzzled me is the near total absence of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over the last few days. His last appearance in Iran was at a press conference on Sunday and then at a “victory” rally in the centre of Tehran.

On Monday he appeared at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Yekaterinburg, Russia, where he was greeted as the "newly re-elected president of Iran". Interestingly he spoke of the end of "the age of empires"

The Iranian media reported that he was greeted by a number of senior government officials on his return from Russia on Tuesday. And then?

Nothing, nada, zilch and not a sausage

According to the Guardian analysts and diplomats say that the fact that Ahmadinejad has not been seen for is an indication that his position may have been weakened. Rallies backing him have been far less well attended than those organised by the Mousavi camp (when not photoshopped of course).

"If he was feeling confident he would be more visible," said Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, of London University's School of Oriental and African Studies. "It would make sense for him to present himself as the president of all Iranians. But he appears to be a bit detached from reality. The way he reacted has seriously damaged his position."

It does indeed seem odd that he has been absent. It certainly is not the action of a man confident in his office

An interesting historical note: On 18 December 1989 Nicolae Ceacsescu left Romania for a visit to Iran. This was at the height of the Romanian revolution. Seven days later he received an unwanted Christmas present.

On 15 June 2009 Ahmadinejad left Iran for a visit. Seven days later......???

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