Dispatch from Tehran: Ahmadinejad popular at home

Negar Azimi in Slate:

060201_dis_mahmoudtnPerhaps unsurprisingly, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s fiery brand of rhetoric and his curious disdain for diplomacy are a gift to Iran’s critics. He has famously denied the Holocaust and asked why the state of Israel could not be moved to Europe or North America. Back home, however, his pronouncements are unremarkable. Such talk is standard fare in official Iranian circles—as is mandated lip service to the fate of the underdog Palestinians. In fact, the president’s comments hardly merited mention in most Iranian papers—despite the hysteria they sparked in editorial pages throughout the West.

More here.