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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not on the ballot this year. How we will miss you, Mahmoud. Let us count the ways.
Israel is doomed to be wiped off the map and there are no gays in Iran.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has certainly left his mark as leader of Iran. Now, Iranian elections are before us once again and the famed son of a blacksmith won't be on the ballot.
It's time to take stock of how we'll remember you, Mahmoud.
1) Holocaust is a myth: Soon after he took office in 2005, Iran's president said that Israel was “doomed to be wiped off the map.” Well, he may have said that. Some maintain it was a mistranslation, but regardless it remains a memorable point of contention — as does the statement he followed up with, that the Holocaust was a “myth.”
But ever the mercurial Mahmoud, it seems his vitriol allows for the love of some Jews — the anti-Zionist ones. Here he is hugging leaders of the anti-Zionist group Neturei Karta International on Sept. 24, 2007, ahead of a UN General Assembly meeting in New York.
Yes, we will remember this:
2) No gays in Iran: It may not have been the best use of his Columbia University platform, but Mahmoud likes to make an impression. Speaking at the university in New York City in 2007, he claimed that there were no gay people in Iran and that women there enjoy the highest freedoms.
Money quote: "In Iran, we don't have homosexuals, like in your country... In Iran we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who's told you that we have this."
3) Shoe in the face: During his historic visit to Cairo this year (the first for an Iranian leader in three decades), as Ahmadinejad hugged a group of supporters, an irate protester threw a shoe at him.
Something else to remember you by:
4) Words of wisdom: It's a widely accepted fact that all you need to secure your place in history is one solid quote. Well, here are some of Mahmoud's that are in the running:
"We thank God that our enemies are idiots."
- February 2006, after Iran halted inspections of its nuclear facilities
"The world is rapidly getting 'Ahmadinejadized,' if I'm allowed to make a joke."
- November 2006, to journalists
"Do you think you are dealing with a 4-year-old child to whom you can give some walnuts and chocolates and get gold from him?"
"A member of the [Iranian] delegation told me, 'I saw a light that surrounded you'. I sensed it myself too... I felt the atmosphere changed. All leaders in the audience didn't blink for 27, 28 minutes. I'm not exaggerating when I'm saying they didn't blink. Everybody had been astonished... they had opened their eyes and ears to see what is the message from the Islamic Republic."
5) "Iran so far away": And last but certainly not least, Mahmoud will be remembered for being compared to a "very hairy Jake Gyllenhall" and inspiring this wonderful song: