Wednesday, August 16, 2006

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Ahmadinejad launches blog
By Agence France Presse (AFP)

TEHRAN: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has started blogging, with the launch of his own Internet diary. "The Personal Notes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad" can now be read on the Internet at, in which he praises the Islamic Republic established in 1979 as the outcome of the "sacrifice of thousands of martyrs, to the unbelievable astonishment of political analysts in both East and West."

But despite taking to technology to lay down his thoughts, the picture of Ahmadinejad shows him using a pen and paper rather than a computer keyboard. His blog is presented with a conservative plain background, and is adorned only with the Iranian flag on the left and his picture, dressed in a dark suit, on the right.

Besides Persian, the blog also has English and Arabic versions - with a French one still "under construction." The first episode relates Ahmadinejad's birth "to a poor family in a village east of the country" and ends with the death in 1989 of the Islamic Revolution's founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. In his childhood, the son of a blacksmith writes that he witnessed the pre-revolution "crapulence of the shah's debauched clan and their foreign companies." One of the few personal details he reveals is his memory of the national examination for university entrance, when despite a nosebleed he gained a good mark and was admitted to the civil engineering faculty of Tehran University. He remains discreet about his early politics, saying only that "three years before the revolution I was involved in certain activities against the illegitimate monarchy regime of Iran, the mercenary and puppet of the US and Britain."

Ahmadinejad's blog devotes much space to praising Khomeini, about whom he writes: "The more I became familiar with his thoughts and philosophy, the more affection I had for that divine leader." The president also takes the opportunity to attack the United States as "the leader of arrogant powers" for supporting then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in his 1980-1988 war against Iran. Realizing that his first foray onto the web may be viewed as somewhat lengthy, Ahmadinejad promises to be more concise in his subsequent musings. - AFP

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