Ten things you probably didn’t know about Ahmadinejad

the other side of the story

the other side of the story

1. Foreign direct investment in Iran reached its highest level ever during Ahmadinejad‘s presidency (2005-2013). According to the latest statistics released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD; 2013 World Investment Report), Iran managed to attract $2 billion worth of foreign direct investments in 2007, $1.90 billion in 2008, $3 billion in 2009, $3.64 billion in 2010, $4.15 billion in 2011, and $4.87 billion in 2012 (see table on page 214 of the report). “During Ahmadinejad’s presidency, some $24.4 billion of investments have been attracted, while this figure for his predecessors Mohammad Khatami (1997-2005) and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (1989-1997) was respectively $10.452 billion and $350 million.” Source

2. Ahmadinejad never called for the destruction of Israel. He called for regime change in the Apartheid State of Israel. He stated: “… the regime that occupies Jerusalem must vanish from the pages of time”. Similarly, he never denied the Holocaust, but stated that some aspects of it should be open to questioning. In particular, he questioned why it was Palestinians who were paying the price for the Holocaust rather than Germans and Austrians, who should instead have given a part of their land to their Jewish victims.

3. Ahmadinejad never participated in the siege of the American embassy in 1979. By some accounts, he was opposed to the idea of hostage taking at the embassy.

4. He comes from a working class background, and lives a simple and humble life, often refusing luxuries. He sent some of the most expensive carpets in the presidential palace to museums and had them replaced with cheaper carpets. He also refused the VIP seats on board the presidential plane.

5. After two years as Tehran mayor, Ahmadinejad was one of 65 finalists for World Mayor in 2005, selected from 550 nominees, only nine of them from Asia. He was among three strong candidates for the top-ten list, but his resignation after winning the presidential elections in 2005 made him ineligible.

6. Ahmadinejad was the first Iranian leader to manage to cut Iran’s debilitating fuel subsidies that benefited the rich more than the poor – an effort that no other politician had managed to achieve in 5 decades or so.

7. Ahmadinejad was the first Iranian president since the revolution to directly challenge the authority of the Supreme Leader, for example by resisting the Leader’s wish to interfere in the selection of Cabinet ministers. In this, Ahmadinejad was pushing for greater compliance with the Iranian Constitution by the Supreme Leader with the aim of reducing the power of the clergy, and promoting the republican side of the Islamic Republic.

8. During Ahmadinejad’s presidency, Iran’s position in the Middle East and in the nuclear negotiations has stabilised and steadily improved, with greater influence and a far stronger negotiating position while the rest of the region is embroiled in conflict and insecurity. Strong indicators for Iran’s more powerful position are a) USA and Israel have stopped publicly hallucinating about a military attack against Iran, and b) the P5+1 no longer demand a cessation of all nuclear enrichment activities in Iran as they did during Khatami’s era, and the so-called ‘red lines’ keep moving closer to the 100% enrichment levels. During Ahmadinejad’s presidency, Iran has not stepped back one single step from all her international rights. During Khatami’s presidency, Iran gave up many rights with no gain whatsoever.

9. Iran’s economic self-sufficiency has improved significantly under Ahmadinejad, and reliance on imports and even the export of crude oil has been drastically reduced. Iran is among the largest petrochemicals and steel producers in the region with far higher refining capacity today as compared with Rafsanjani and Khatami administrations. Iran’s economy is far more resilient as a direct result of the sanctions that Ahmadinejad’s administration deliberately and specifically decided to confront and defeat. This has been hard on many people, but is likely to bolster Iran’s position and economy in the long run.

10. Iran’s rate of scientific growth and achievements sky-rocketed during Ahmadinejad’s terms in office. Iran was reported as having the highest rate of scientific growth in the world in 2010. Today, the country is among global leaders in space, nuclear and military technology as well as nanotechnology and stem cell research. Iran’s indigenous military production makes the country by far the greatest conventional military power in the region. All this, while Iran spends the smallest share of its GDP on its military, as compared to the rest of the region and the West’s most warmongering nations such as USA, UK and France.


10 thoughts on “Ten things you probably didn’t know about Ahmadinejad

  1. Ahmadinejad is also popular all over the world as a symbol of the Third World rebellion, on a par with Castro and Chavez. He maintains good relationship with neighbouring Russia and China, even with the US-occupied Iraq and Afghanistan. Ahmadinejad’s lightning visit to Yekaterinburg to the SCO conference in the midst of the upheaval has proved his statesmanship. In his well-received fiery speech he never referred to the crisis back home, and he was congratulated by his peers President Medvedev and President Hu Jintao for his electoral victory. His stalwart anti-Zionist stand endeared him to the Arab neighbours of Iran, even to the annoyance of Arab rulers. His weapons saved Lebanon in 2006 from being devoured by Israel. Sometimes he goes too far, but otherwise, how can he find out how far he can go?


    • Thank you for your comment rehmat. Interesting info and perspective. He certainly pushed the boundaries and exposed a great deal of Western hypocrisy. And I don’t think he’s done yet…

  2. these are facts: the iranian economy collapsed or is near a collapse to his policies. the iranian currency fell through the roof and people lost their buying power. imports went through the roof, closing an unprecedented factories. unemployment shot up to its highest levels. he picked fights with every western nation and caused so many sanctions to be imposed. he rigged elections and during his government we saw the worst treatment of people after the elections. people fled the country in large numbers. I think every sharrif student (the brightest iranians) have left already. he looked like s… most of the times and had no public speaking skills. so your above commentary is irrelevant and surprisingly different than what the facts are. good luck selling this to the iranians.

    • Saying that the Iranian economy ‘collapsed’ or is ‘near a collapse’ makes you a liar.

      Currencies cannot ‘fall through the roof’. It’s impossible, but regardless, what’s happened is that Iran’s currency has adjusted to a more realistic level.

      ‘closing an unpredecented factories’ is just a hilarious and silly statement.

      ‘unemployment shot up to its highest levels’ since when? Iran’s employment situation is far superior to that of most of her large neighbours (rentier city states aside) today.

      ‘he picked fights with every western nation and caused so many sanctions to be imposed’ because he is a courageous and noble man. Any self-respecting leader in the world today should tell the fascist West to go take a hike.

      Saying that ‘he rigged elections’ also makes you a liar.

      ‘I think every sharrif student (the brightest iranians) have left already’ makes you sound like you don’t think much.

      ‘he looked like s… most of the times and had no public speaking skills’ also makes you look like an uppity westernised bacheh naneh. He was widely popular throughout the world.

      so your above commentary is irrelevant and surprisingly different than what the facts are.

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