By Kasra Naji
As Iran's nuclear application speeds up, all eyes are at the blacksmith's son who may have his finger at the set off. who's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? What drives him? To whom, if a person, does he resolution? the world over acclaimed Iranian journalist Kasra Naji has spent years interviewing Ahmadinejad's pals, relations, and co-workers to inform for the 1st time the genuine tale of ways he got here to energy. What emerges during this riveting account, that includes by no means prior to released colour images, is an image of a guy who's even more of a strength to be reckoned with than the caricatures provided up to this point recommend. whereas Naji files Ahmadinejad's frequently unusual habit, he additionally indicates him to be jam-packed with complicated contradictions: a guy gripped by means of apocalyptic ideals, but able to switching religious allegiance within the quest for strength. a guy difficult sufficient to struggle road battles within the identify of Ayatollah Khomeini, crude adequate to ask the German chancellor to affix him in an anti-Jewish alliance, but subtle sufficient to win the help of the omnipotent progressive safeguard. Kasra Naji takes us contained in the shadowy council chambers of Tehran, and exhibits us the plots, passions, and personalities that would impression Ahmadinejad's subsequent flow, whereas the realm waits with bated breath.
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Extra info for Ahmadinejad: The Secret History of Iran's Radical Leader
At Elm-o-Sanat he taught traffic engineering to undergraduate as well MSc and PhD students. His pupils say he was a popular professor whose classes were fun. He was always cheerful, friendly and easygoing in the class – always ready with a joke and generous with grades. 32 Later as president, he would repeatedly describe himself as ‘first and foremost a university teacher’. It was his way of saying that he had not fallen for the trappings of power and that he remained in touch with the people. When in May 2003 Ahmadinejad became mayor of Tehran, he continued his classes, and it was only his election as president in 2005 that forced him to discontinue.
Ahmadinejad could have joined the hostage-taking operation only after Ayatollah Khomeini endorsed it, and even then as a guard or later as an interrogator, rather than a student leader. He may have been a security official with access to both the embassy and Evin Prison where some of the hostages were held for a time. Abbas Abdi’s account that Ahmadinejad called in after the capture of the embassy, wanting to become involved, fits in with this. The event was the biggest since the Revolution itself and it had turned into a developing drama involving pro-Khomeini university students – a drama that would go on for 15 months.
At the embassy the students suddenly broke off from the main body of the demonstrators and scaled the gate of the building in a state of frenzy, shouting ‘Death to America’. Soon the Student Followers of the Imam’s Line were inside, in control of the embassy compound and more than 60 diplomats, staff and US Marine guards. It was the beginning of a hostage drama that dragged on for 444 days. It opened a new chapter in post-revolutionary Iran that Ayatollah Khomeini later described as the ‘Second Revolution’.
Ahmadinejad: The Secret History of Iran's Radical Leader by Kasra Naji