Ahmadinejad Sworn In for New Term
Will we see him in New York this September?
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was sworn in this morning for his second term as president of Iran, despite ongoing popular protests and a walkout by reformist legislators. We’re sure there won’t be any shortage of serious discussion about the policies he’ll pursue in his first hundred days, but with our fall social calendars already filling up, here’s what we’d like to know: will Ahmadinejad return to New York in September to hobnob with other world leaders (including Barack Obama) at this year’s United Nations General Assembly?
Ahmadinejad’s last outing to a U.N. powwow was in April, when he traveled to the so-called Durban II anti-racism conference in Geneva; there, hecklers in Bozo wigs pelted him with clown noses as he launched into a diatribe against Israel, prompting a walkout. The Iranian leader is an inveterate showman, and unlikely to resist the opportunity to parade in front of the world’s cameras (or to provoke the politically useful ire of Israeli diplomats). So if he does turn up, we wonder: Given the turmoil of the last month, and the disillusionment of even the most avid fans of engagement, will any prominent universities invite him to campus in the name of free speech? Will any rabbis deign to meet with him in the name of interfaith understanding? Will Sarah Palin be re-invited to protest him? And, most important: Will Fred Armisen be forced to choose between reviving his Ahmadinejad act or perfecting his Obama impression? Stay tuned…