Back to staging walkouts, skipping conferences
With Iran’s feared Basij militia continuing the task of cracking down on opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi and his supporters, Ahmadinejad has been able to get back to focusing on the work that’s really important to him: orchestrating spectacles at international summits.
The Jerusalem Post is reporting that Iran’s delegation staged a walkout this morning during Israeli President Shimon Peres’ keynote address to the Congress of World and Traditional Religions in Astana, Kazakhstan. One delegation member gave an explanation straight from the Ahmadinejad playbook, telling the paper: “Your president is a stealer of lands and a conqueror, and we’re not willing to hear him. Peres represents an abominable Zionist conspiracy, and his place is not here.”
Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad himself decided to skip today’s African Union summit in Libya. The BBC reports that some African Union officials had expressed fears that the Iranian leader’s presence would be a lightning rod that would distract from issues on the agenda, including a request from Somalia’s government for military help against Islamist insurgents, but Ahmadinejad himself—a consummate diva—declined to explain his last-minute decision. “All we know is he isn’t coming,” one Libyan official said. Maybe he was afraid of getting hit with more clown noses?