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European media Understands Ahmadinejad

In an article that seems to parallel ThreatsWatch's own November PrincipalAnalysis: Understanding Ahmadinejad, Britain's Daily Telegraph published today 'Divine mission' driving Iran's new leader.

In November, the country was startled by a video showing Mr Ahmadinejad telling a cleric that he had felt the hand of God entrancing world leaders as he delivered a speech to the UN General Assembly last September.

When an aircraft crashed in Teheran last month, killing 108 people, Mr Ahmadinejad promised an investigation. But he also thanked the dead, saying: "What is important is that they have shown the way to martyrdom which we must follow."

The most remarkable aspect of Mr Ahmadinejad's piety is his devotion to the Hidden Imam, the Messiah-like figure of Shia Islam, and the president's belief that his government must prepare the country for his return.

More than the American media, the European media seems to acknowledge the importance of the public's understanding Ahmadinejad and his leadership's effect on the velocity of the encroaching conflict (in its variety of forms) with Iran.


Back in 1979 when the Iranian revolutionaries took the hostages at the American embassy in Teheran, two or three dozen Iranian military cadets were enrolled at Vermont's Norwich University, this county's first private military academy. They were welcomed into the area and by all accounts enjoyed their stay here.

Unfortunately, political necessity dictated that they be sent home. Undoubtedly these cadets must have been forced to lie low within Iran's new regime. I worried about them and still wonder how they have fared since then.

I also wonder if there is any substantial remaining connection, contact and friendship between Iranians and Americans in general. Or have Mr. Ahmadinajad and the senior clerics who run the country stamped out any sign of it?

I have a coworker that is Iranian and Christian. He just visited his parents in Iran during November. Much less ado than I thought.